After wearing your new hearing aids, you may notice a big difference when you take them out. This is not because your ears have become dependent on hearing aids, or that they have made your hearing worse, as is commonly misconceived – it’s just that you didn’t realise how much you were struggling to hear before. There is no evidence that correctly adjusted hearing aids will cause your hearing to deteriorate more quickly, and in fact, routine hearing aid use should help preserve your ability to hear and discriminate sounds.
As hearing loss is a gradual process for many people, it is quite natural for there to a further decline with age. This is not something to be alarmed about. If you feel your hearing has got worse, contact your local Audiology department or, if you have private hearing aids, your hearing aid dispenser. Your Audiologist will ask you if you have noticed a deterioration in your hearing in both ears or just one, and if your hearing has steadily or suddenly got worse – or if it is fluctuating at all. In some cases it may be that the hearing aid is faulty, but the audiologist will check your hearing with a repeat audiogram to be sure.
You will probably be called back for a check up after about 6 to 12 months. However, if you do not hear from your audiologist/dispenser, it is a good idea to go back a couple of years after getting your hearing aids in case your hearing has changed, and in case you need to be fitted with new earmoulds. Bear in mind that hearing aids themselves have a limited life of around five years.
If you bought your hearing aids privately, you need to keep in mind that hearing aid dispensers are in business – so they will naturally be pleased to talk to you about the benefits of the latest models. If you feel it is time for change, that’s fine – but make sure you remain in control of your purchasing decisions.