Have you been struggling to hear? Are you considering hearing aids to treat your hearing loss and get your life back? Hearing technology has come a long way in the past 15 years, and the clunky devices you might be imagining are a thing of the past. While hearing devices are marvels of modern technological advancements, there are still a few factors that might be affecting hearing aid efficacy, and stopping you from getting the most out of your devices.
Studying Hearing Aid Efficacy
Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is very common among seniors in the US. In fact, around 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 have some hearing loss, and that number rises to half of all seniors over the age of 75. Of course, hearing loss can also affect younger adults, and noise induced hearing loss, or hearing loss caused by exposure to dangerously loud sounds during work or leisure activities, is becoming more and more common.
A recent study by the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, in partnership with researchers in Shanghai, looked at factors that predict hearing aid efficacy and satisfaction. Overall, they found that 83.6% of people with hearing aids are happy with their devices and the benefits they receive from wearing hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Fit
One of the strongest predictors of hearing aid efficacy is an accurately fitting device. While some hearing aid users might be tempted to buy their hearing aids online, this greatly lowers the chances of a proper fitting. Working with a hearing health specialist to create the perfect fit is crucial for satisfaction with your hearing aids. Whether you have a custom fit, in the ear device that is made with a custom mold, or a behind the ear device that has an ear mold in the ear, getting a seamless fit will ensure great sound quality. If the hearing device doesn’t fit well, you risk discomfort when wearing the devices, and will likely experience feedback, or uncomfortable and distracting whistling noises.
Another factor that affects hearing aid efficacy is early treatment. The longer you wait to seek treatment for your hearing loss, the worse your hearing will become, and you’ll have a harder time adjusting to your devices. As you struggle to make sense of all the sounds around you that you haven’t heard in years, the experience of adjusting to hearing aids can be overwhelming, and you might never become fully comfortable with the devices. If you wait a long time before getting hearing devices, your ears and brain are less able to process sounds once you do get hearing devices. When the cells in your brain that should be processing sounds aren’t being used, they’ll begin to deteriorate, or even die. When you get hearing aids, these cells aren’t restored, and you’ll have difficult processing all the sounds your hearing aids are amplifying.
Another factor that could affect hearing aid efficacy is social support. A 2015 study published in Ear Hear found that social support is a major factor when it comes to hearing aid satisfaction. If you’re about the get hearing aids, having the support of your family and friends could make all the difference in a successful transition, and clear hearing. Your family will encourage you to stick with the process, go back for follow up appointments to adjust the fit and comfort of your devices, and motivate you to keep wearing your devices as your ears and brain adjust to the new sounds you’re hearing. When you’re struggling with your hearing aids, having a friend or family member to talk to for support is more effective than you might realize.
My Hearing Centers
Of course, another factor affecting hearing aid efficacy is the quality of your hearing device and hearing health specialists. At My Hearing Centers, our team of specialists will make sure you choose the perfect device for your lifestyle and hearing needs, and that the devices fit you well. We’ll help you understand all the programs and settings so you’ll get the most out of your devices, and we’ll be with your at every step of the way, ensuring that you’re completely satisfied with your devices.