Meandering Through the Hearing World


What To Do After Purchasing Hearing Aids

After purchasing hearing aids, most people believe that hearing is a matter of popping their aids in their ears every morning and going forth into the world. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Your aids will need fine tuning and adjusting to new aids will require your time and patience. During the first six months post purchase, a good audiologist can help you get used to your aids.

I’m always excited when receiving an email from my audiologist saying my new aids have arrived. For me, a pair of brand new aids brings on my hope of hearing better. But one must first jump over hurdles before great hearing begins. The journey to better hearing begins during your first fitting. 

At your fitting appointment, your audiologist will tweak your aids according to your audiogram and hearing needs. They will go over how to perform some basic functions on your new aids such as, turning them on and off, raising or lowering volume, switching programs, and how to connect your aids to peripheral devices if you purchased any. If you bought Made-for-iPhone or Android aids, your audiologist will help you pair your aids with smart phones, tablets, and computers and advise you on how to use the Apps on your devices. Be sure to bring those devices to that first fitting  appointment. 

You will be given an owners manual with some instructions about how to clean your aids and do some basic troubleshooting. You should be told about the manufacturers website and what information you can find there.

Digital hearing aids are complicated instruments, and if you have a severe or profound hearing loss, chances are you have custom-built hearing aids with a variety of functionality. You will need a lesson in how the aids work and how to tweak them as you move from one hearing environment to another. 

Everyone should recognize that new aids will need fine tuning for 3 to 6 months post purchase. That is because your brain will need time to adjust to hearing sounds that you haven’t been able to hear. Also, your audiologist cannot conceive of every hearing situation. You have to report how your hearing aids function in the various environments that you live in, work in, and socialize in.

We are social beings. As we move about talking on the telephoning, conversing, and as we listen to music, watch movies, and stream podcasts, movies and series, we might notice that our new hearing aids don’t meet our hearing needs. Don’t give up and throw your new aids in the drawer. Your audiologist can help you. Digital hearing aids have a wide variety of channels and tuning options. Most problems that people encounter with new aids can be fixed. 

I went through a transition period after purchasing new aids last year. I could suddenly hear my appliances but was confused by what sound was what. After two or three adjustments, and several months of letting my brain adjust to new sounds, I can now distinguish between the sound of my dishwasher and washing machine. I also hear better in noise and I now enjoy listening to music. 

For some of us, hearing aids are not enough and we need electronic help. Most hearing aids manufacturers have a variety of peripheral devices including TV adapters, FM systems, and mini microphones. Those devices may need adjustments as well. If there are connectivity issues you should let your audiologist know. 

Make sure your new hearing aids have the ability to connect to hearing loops and have your audiologist show you how to use this feature. Many churches, concert halls, theaters, and more public buildings are adding loops. You will need to know how these accessory devices work with your aids and the care and upkeep of each one. 

I have been wearing hearing aids for over 40 years. My first aids were merely amplifiers but when digital aids came on the scene, I tried them and found hearing relief.  As my hearing loss progressed to severe and then to profound, I moved to custom built aids made for my hearing loss. Last year, I purchased new hearing aids with artificial intelligence. I visited my audiologist regularly for 4 months post purchase for fittings. I have had three visits since. It took six months before I heard well.

Knowledgeable and astute audiologists can really help you purchase and tune your hearing aids for the ultimate hearing experience. But those of us suffering from hearing loss must have patience and be willing to work with our hearing healthcare providers. Make sure you find an audiologist willing to work with you. Ultimately, you and your audiologist can create a stellar hearing situation as you meander through the hearing world.


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Linda Bilodeau

I’ve grappled with hearing loss since 1978. Through it all, I’ve faced periods of denial, acceptance, curiosity, trust and hope. But more often than not, I’ve felt annoyed, angry and frightened. I’ve encountered despair, loneliness and envy. I’ve experienced panic attacks. I’ve met understanding people, kind souls who helped me a great deal and others who thought I had nothing short of an invisible plague. As a way of coming to terms with my hearing loss, I’ve decided to put my feelings about my disability down on paper. My hope is to better understand myself and perhaps you’ll find a little something in my meanderings that will help you, too.

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