Dr. Roach: It takes time to adjust to hearing aids
Dear Dr. Roach: My husband and I are both senior citizens. My hearing deteriorated noticeably more than two years ago. I had an ENT check me, and no tumor or anything that might have caused the loss was found — just bad genes. I went to a local "hearing aid" specialist in April 2013 to be fitted for two hearing aids, but they were FAR from perfect. After a year of fussing, making minor adjustments, etc., they completely did them over, with new molds of my ear canals, and made them adjustable for various situations. While not as good as the "younger" me, they are much better, and now I wear them almost daily, taking them out only when I play golf or eat. My husband recently found out that he could get hearing aids through Veteran's Affairs, and he was fitted for bilateral hearing aids. He received them two weeks ago, and like many "mature" men who have hearing aids, he is threatening to put them back in the box and in a drawer. I have reminded him that he did not lose his hearing overnight and getting used to them will not be an overnight experience. Also, he doesn't want the expense of going to a private audiologist to see if there is any solution to his problem. Any suggestions?
Dear H.A.: He should learn from his wise wife. It does take time to live with them, and a dedicated professional who can help make adjustments to the hearing aids certainly can help that process. I would have hoped he would have learned from your experience.
That being said, after my last column on hearing aids, many people wrote in to tell me that, despite much adjustment, they were never able to get satisfactory results.
I would love to hear some tips on how to get good results from people who have gone through the process and from professionals who fit people.
Email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.