Perhaps your hearing aids have just arrived. You’ve opened the box, taken them out, and now you’re wondering how to get your hearing aids working. While your friends and family have been telling you how these devices will change your life, now that they’re here, you don’t know where to start.
As with most of the latest pieces of technology, while hearing aids are pretty easy to understand once you’ve had them for a while, it can be difficult to know where to begin with them. As hearing aid experts, we’d like to help walk you through that process.
Here’s how to use your hearing aids in 5 simple steps.
Step 1. Get to know your hearing aid.
Every hearing aid is unique. So whether or not you’ve used hearing aids in the past, there may be a bit of a learning curve involved in getting to know your new ones. The best place to find the important need-to-knows, however, is your user manual. For example, Advanced Affordable Hearing sends a Hearing Aid User Manual with each device. For additional help, our YouTube videos or blog are also available for your convenience.
The most crucial features you’ll need to look for are the volume control, program settings, and the ON/OFF switch. It’s important to note that different types of hearing aids may turn on and off differently. For example, the HCR3 Rechargeable Hearing Aid has a button that turns the unit on or off. But other devices, such as the HCX or HCZ3, do not. Instead, these devices turn ON when the battery door is closed and OFF when the door is opened.
Some hearing aids have raised the bar in the hearing industry in terms of how you operate them. Some of the latest devices, like the HCEQ BTE Hearing Aid, have taken advantage of BlueTooth technology and allow you to control them using your smartphone instead of a button. That being said, instead of looking for a button on the device itself, download the app!
In addition to learning more about your hearing aids’ features, it’s also valuable to learn how to properly maintain your device. Hearing aid maintenance includes regularly changing your tubes, domes, and batteries. Learn how by watching our videos on How to Change Your Tubes and Domes, How to Clean Your Tubes, and How to Change a Battery.
Step 2. Choose a strategy for adjusting.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with how to use and maintain your hearing aids, it’s time to put them on and start using them! But before you start wearing your hearing aids day in, day out, you’ll need to choose a strategy for helping your ears to adjust. There are two strategies we recommend:
The Quick Start Method - With this method, you’ll wear your hearing aids throughout the day but with several 30-minute breaks. With each break, your brain will be more quick to adapt to hearing through your newly acquired device.
The Gradual Method - Unlike the Quick Start Method, with this method, you’ll wear your hearing aids for periods of several hours. With each wearing period, increase the amount of time you wear them to slowly adjust your ears to hearing again.
After you’ve selected your preferred adjustment method, you can develop a schedule for putting your hearing aids on and taking them off. Within a few weeks, you’ll be able to wear them throughout the day, no schedule needed (We just don’t recommend sleeping with your hearings aids on).
Step 3. Choose your volume and program settings.
Now that you know when you’ll be wearing your hearing aids, it’s time to select your hearing preferences by using the features we discussed earlier. How much you can adjust your hearing aids will depend on type you’ve purchased, but in most cases, you’ll have a volume and program button.
To choose the appropriate volume level, it’s best to find a quiet space. Ideally, you’ll want to select your volume based on how well you hear a conversational tone of voice. Have a friend speak to you, while you adjust the volume to a level that’s comfortable to you. This provides a solid basis for what everyday sounds will sound like.
After that, you’ll want to select the appropriate program setting for your current listening environment. Some hearing aids offer more program settings than others; for example, the HCR3 has program settings for four situations: 1) normal everyday, 2) noise reduction, 3) television, and 4) feedback control. Choose the setting appropriate for your situation.
Step 4. Take care of your hearing aids.
As noted in Step #1, maintenance is an important part of using your hearing aids, and keeping them around for the years to come. Just like car maintenance, there are some things you’ll have to do more often than others, but here are the top two things you’ll need to do:
Regularly change your batteries, or keep your device charged. - For battery-powered devices, batteries often last between 2 to 5 days, so you’ll need to change them frequently. Conversely, it’s often best to charge rechargeable hearing aids at night while you sleep. That way, you can wake up with your devices ready for the day.
Remember to replace your tubes and domes every 3-4 months. Our ears regularly produce wax, which can clog your tubes and domes. The wax can prevent you from hearing your best, so keep those tubes and domes fresh to continue hearing clearly.
5. Start hearing better!
With Steps 1 through 4 complete, you’re now ready to start enjoying life with better hearing! Remember that it may take some time to fully adjust to life with hearing aids, but it’s worth the wait.
If you have any questions about our hearing aids, using them, or starting your journey to better hearing, give us a call at 1 (800) 804-0434. We look forward to helping you to a life with improved hearing!