How Do Hearing Aids Work

Question: Dear Luise: I’m confused about how hearing aids work because they don’t work for me. I have friends who have hearing aids and just marvel at how well they work for them, but I got Siemens Hearing Aids and they didn’t make any difference at all. Was I taken in by the clinic that dispensed them? I got tested and the test showed I needed hearing aids. It just seems weird. What I ended up doing was putting them in the drawer, and they cost over $4,000. That was seven years ago. Thanks, Linda

Answer: Dear Linda: There’s something going on that you are unaware of and I doubt very much it’s someone selling you hearing aids you didn’t need. Why didn’t you pursue the issue when you were fitted? Follow-up is part of the prepaid process.

I often refer to cars as an analogy because most of us have one. Would you buy a car when you didn’t know how to drive, get in and find you couldn’t start it, feel totally overwhelmed and then leave it in the garage for years?

Your hearing aids are still as good as new, right? OK…head out to a different clinic, since your last experience wasn’t positive, and get re-tested. If you have a copy of your old test, dig that out, too. Tell the audiologist up front that you have a pair you would like re-programmed after you are tested…and ask how much that would cost. Usually it’s a nominal fee that is under $100.

It’s very important that you establish a relationship with your hearing aid professional…that’s where problems get discussed and solved. I know someone who recently had a similar experience and it turned out that she just needed more adjustments and gave up too soon. Patience is very necessary…polish yours up.

Audiologists usually don’t crank hearing aids up to the full volume you will require, initially. That would be pretty hard on you. Most of them set the programs at the low end of your hearing loss to give you a chance to get used to them. Then as you do, they increase the volume and other features until you are getting a noticeable result and are satisfied.

I’m just guessing here, but I think your question probably isn’t how do hearing aids work. I think it is more a matter of how do I work with my hearing aids and audiologist? Blessings, Luise

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