After a less than perfect hearing test earlier this year, I decided to try hearing aids. You can read my post here. In a nutshell, I was tested and was borderline for aids. My issues are with higher frequencies. I decided to give them a try to see if they would tweak it a bit.
Hearing aids have come a long way. They are small and non-obtrusive. The ones I had you couldn’t see so there is no vanity issue. After a while you don’t feel them either.
They are work. They have to be cleaned and you have to remember to put them in. The batteries don’t last long. I would compare them to contact lenses. If they help enough, you don’t mind the rest.
For me, it was a slight tweaking. First I wore them all the time. I found I didn’t need that. I spend much of my day with cats who are very articulate about their needs. My husband speaks in the frequencies I can hear (or I make believe I can’t hear). I was more interested in wearing them for social events.
I tested them for two months — big events, small events, dinner parties, one-on-one, small groups and music concerts.
For me there wasn’t enough bang for the buck. I stopped wearing them in larger groups with background noise. I stopped wearing them to restaurants and concerts. I didn’t need them for one-on-one. Eventually I was rarely wearing them.
If I was still working, the decision would have been different. If my loss was more severe, my decision would have been different. This past week I took them back. They had been adjusted a few times but I just wasn’t wearing them.
If you have a hearing loss I would suggest giving aids a try. They are available at a reasonable cost but you have to shop around. Most places will give you a free trial period too.
My neighbor bought a pair last year. She was a great source of information. The prices she was quoted ranged from $10K to $1,600 for essentially the same aids. If your loss is profound or unique, you may need a licensed audiologist. If it isn’t, you may be able get a pair from a big box store. The people there are fully trained in fitting aids no matter what your neighborhood audiologist says.
I understand my loss. I know what sounds I can’t hear well and I know how to position myself in public settings. I’ve learned the techniques to fake hearing — the head bouncing up and down (in agreement with you) and yelling “really!” periodically. I can get by. I avoid saying “yes” because you never know what you are agreeing to.
The occasional flashing of expressive eyes helps to convince people that you are listening too. (The truth is that I used these techniques long before I had any hearing loss. Some people don’t need to be heard! It was also good for the all-day budget meetings.)
There may be times when I hear something different from what you said. Just be patient. As long as I’m not on a witness stand, I’m OK with it.