Question: Dear Luise: How do hearing aids work for women? I have never thought of myself as vain…but I cringe at the idea of having to wear them. I see it as the beginning of the end and I just don’t want to create that kind of image. Have you ever worn them? Do you now? Do they help a lot? What kind do you wear…not the make but the style. I wear my hair short and can’t imagine those things bumping along behind my ears. Are they hard to put in? Is it difficult to change the batteries? What can you tell me, so I don’t have to tip my hand and ask anyone else? Gloria
Answer: Dear Gloria: Put ‘er there, Pardner! Everything you just wrote flitted through my mind when I started noticing that my hearing wasn’t what it once was.
I think the first thing that helped me along this rocky-looking pathway was a female audiologist. Mine is young, from my perspective, but she has worn hearing aids since college. I was amazed to find that she wore over the ear hearing aids, which to me were not even a consideration. I needed someone I could discuss hairstyles with, if I was going to look at those! I, too, wear mine short. She doesn’t, but she often puts hers up on top of her head, which presents the same problem. Seeing how it worked for her helped me a lot. I think there are different degrees of vanity but if a woman has none, she’s in trouble.
So, yes, I wear them and I feel they offer me exactly what I need which is amplification and clarity. Mine are Siemens Hearing aids, and the model is Prisma. I know you didn’t need to know that but if you run across them, you can trust them. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of other makes that are just as trustworthy but my personal experience is with Siemens…and my husband’s excellent Phonaks.
I’ve never found my hearing aids hard to put in. The molds are custom made. They felt weird at first, like I had rocks in my ears, but I got used to them by wearing them just a few hours a day for the first week and then increasing the time until they just stayed in all day. I got the behind the ear variety, which I never dreamed I’d get. My audiologist convinced me that they allow more room for better electronics and a larger battery. They take hearing aid battery number 13, which is great because that’s the size my husband uses. We buy Energizer hearing aid batteries online at a discount. Neither of us finds it hard to change batteries. It just takes a little practice.
Hearing aids that go down into the ear canal have to be smaller. They are also in a warm, moist place and can get dampness and wax in them. You need to get and use a hearing aid dryer if you get those. If you can’t stand the idea of the kind I have, you may want to go that route. But don’t decide yet. First and foremost, find a woman audiologist that you can relate to, preferably one who wears hearing aids. Ask her to address your question regarding how do hearing aids work for women. That’s the place to start. Blessings, Luise