Realistic Expectations For Hearing Aids

In order for hearing aids to succeed, it is vital for the wearer to have realistic expectations for what the hearing aid can provide. Many people fail with the aids because their expectations were unrealistic. Most people are never told what to expect when they wear hearing aids. At Key Hearing, Leah Wilkinson Keylard is committed to making sure you always know what to expect from your new hearing aids.

The list below address some of the most frequently heard comments or complaints about hearing aids.

Comments Normal Not Normal
Voice change Your own voice should sound higher pitched – as if on an answering machine or tape recorder. It should sound louder than someone else’s voice as your voice is closer to your ears than another speakers. YOU ARE NOT NECESSARILY SPEAKING ANY LOUDER! This perception of change should dissipate over time as you adjust to your aids. It is not okay for you to feel as if you are speaking in a barrel or in a tunnel – this can be addressed with adjustment or a remake. You should not feel as if your voice is like “Minnie Mouse”.
“Normalized Hearing” You will not be able to hear “everything”. It is normal to miss some things a person may say based how the speaker is talking, the amount of background noise in the environment and the severity of your hearing loss. You should not feel you can hear better with the hearing aids out than in.
Loudness It is normal to have some things sound loud. If a car with a loud stereo system goes by or if a dog barks – this should sound loud. The stereo or dog barking should not be extremely uncomfortable to the point that you feel you must return the hearing aids – if so, this may require adjustment.
Background Noise It is NORMAL to hear background noise. We all hear it and filter it at the brain level to give speech priority. As you adjust to your hearing aids, you will hear the background noise as well. You should not hear the background noise to the exclusion of speech. Again, this depends on your aids and severity of hearing loss, however, this many times can be addressed with adjustment to the aids.
Feedback Feedback is normal when inserting or removing the aids – especially if you do not have an on/off switch or volume control.. It is not okay to have feedback when the hearing aid is sitting correctly in you ear. If you are having problems with feedback, this is an indication that the hearing aid may need adjustment, a remake, or re-instruction on how to properly insert the hearing aid.