What Do Your Hearing Aid Users Need


What Do Your Hearing Aid Users Need?

If someone suspects they have hearing loss, they should see an audiologist for a hearing screening to determine whether they need hearing aids. But then what happens? This blog explains how to give your patients what they need for success with their hearing aids, such as setting proper expectations, providing care and maintenance tips for the devices, offering valuable tips before they buy, and providing ongoing aftercare.

Hearing impairment can make people feel like they’re missing out on conversations, social situations, professional opportunities, their favorite music and television shows, and more. Additionaly, untreated hearing loss has also been linked to a variety of serious health conditions and risks, including increased depression, loneliness, cognitive decline, dementia, diabetes, fall risk, and more. 

Approximately 15% of American adults aged 18+ report having some trouble hearing, and 91% of people with hearing loss are aged 50+, but: 

  • The average time from when someone first suspects they have hearing loss to when they seek evaluation and treatment is seven years. 
  • Although many valuable treatments for hearing loss exist, only 16% of individuals aged 20–69 and 30% aged 70+ that could benefit from hearing aids actually pursue them.  

Make sure that your customers and prospects don’t add to these troubling numbers! Emphasize that if they have hearing loss, getting hearing aids will be a game-changer, improving all aspects of their social, emotional, mental, and physical well-being! 

How To Spotlight When Patients Need Hearing Aids

When Do Patient Need Hearing Aids

Some of your patients might live in denial about their hearing loss and may not know the signs of hearing loss. Therefore, it is critical to explain the signs, such as asking people to repeat themselves frequently, turning the volume significantly on the TV or radio, and missing big chunks of conversations.

Hearing care professionals can help educate the public, letting them know that if they’re having trouble hearing properly, it’s important to get their hearing evaluated at a hearing clinic. And they shouldn’t delay!

Use a variety of delivery channels – like your clinic’s website, social media platforms, email blasts, newsletters, presence at community events, etc. to explain how audiologists perform hearing tests to determine whether a patient has hearing loss and explore the possible solutions. 

If a customer is a good candidate for hearing aids, explain the options and recommend a brand, model, and style that will work well for their specific needs. Additionally, explain the proper steps. Tell them you’ll conduct a hearing aid fitting and discuss proper care and maintenance of the devices. Once people try hearing aids, they’re often surprised at how dramatically hearing aids improve their hearing. They’ll probably wonder why they didn’t get them sooner! 

Patients Need to Understand The Benefits of Hearing Aids

Spotlight The Benefits Of Hearing Aids

It’s important to explain the hearing aid basics to your clients and demonstrate why it’s important to use these innovative devices as a solution for their hearing loss.  

Remember: having hearing loss is not easy, and many people live in denial about their situation. It’s the clinician's duty to make sure the customers are well informed and ready to take action to improve their hearing health. 

Explain that a hearing aid is a small electronic device that is placed in or behind the ears, amplifying sounds so people with hearing losscan hear better in many different environments. 

If your patient has hearing loss, reassure them that there are many benefits to wearing hearing aids. For instance, hearing aids can: 

  • Help them hear better in different environments, including in restaurants or theaters with ambient noise, in a school auditorium or lecture hall, at a professional event or meeting, on a telephone call or Zoom/teams meeting, outside (even on a windy day), and more. 
  • Improve their comprehension when listening (no more mumbled voices!). 
  • Give them more independence. 
  • Reduce tinnitus (ringing in their ears). 
  • Reduce the health conditions associated with unresolved hearing loss, including increased depression, loneliness, cognitive decline, dementia, diabetes, etc. 

Discuss Different Hearing Aid Functionalities And Styles 

Discuss Options

Your patients may not know that today’s hearing aids are very different than the big, clunky, beige models that your customers’ grandparents may have worn. They’re lightweight, more stylish and comfortable, and come with many innovative features.

Recommend the options that would be most appropriate for each patient, based on the severity of their hearing loss, the size and shape of their ears, the features they want and need, as well as their lifestyle, medical history, and budget parameters. 

For instance, many people appreciate the user-friendly controls, enabling them to easily change the hearing aids’ volume and settings through a smartphone app and/or via buttons directly on the devices. Modern hearing aids can also stream sound from a customer’s smartphone, allowing them to hear phone calls, Zoom meetings, music, podcasts, and TV shows directly through their phone.   


How to Spotlight The Many Benefits Of Hearing Aids

When people with hearing loss get hearing aids, they’ll enjoy benefits that go beyond “just” better hearing. They’ll see improvements in all aspects of their lives, enjoying better overall health, mental well-being, relationships, and professional success than those with untreated hearing loss. 

Explain The Testing And Fitting Processes 

Video Otoscopy Measure

To make patients feel at ease during their appointments, explain the process of their hearing assessment and fitting. 

Explain that the hearing assessment will involve a series of tests to evaluate the sensitivity and clarity of your hearing. These may include pure-tone tests where you respond to tones of different frequencies, speech tests to assess your ability to understand spoken words, and possibly other evaluations. Highlight that these are painless processes and help audiologists identify hearing issues, guiding them in recommending appropriate interventions or treatments.

Discuss the hearing aid fitting and explain that it involves a personalized process where the audiologist adjusts and customizes the hearing aids to the patient's specific hearing needs. This includes programming the hearing aids to amplify sounds so they can be heard at specific levels using Real-Ear Measurements, the best practice industry standard for hearing aid fittings. The audiologist will make sure the devices are comfortable and secure in each patient’s ears and demonstrate how to adjust the hearing aids so they’ll work in different environments, like their quiet home versus a loud concert venue. 

Discuss Patient's Lifestyle

Discuss Lifetsyle

Ensure that your clients communicate their lifestyle during their audiology appointment so the audiologists can better understand how they’ll use their hearing aids and recommend the best options.

For instance, if someone is an avid runner, boater, fisherman, or enjoy other outdoor activities, they may want a hearing aid that reduces the wind sounds in outdoor environments. If a customer works in a professional setting that requires participating in numerous Zoom/Teams meetings daily, they’ll want Bluetooth connectivity so they can connect to these calls via their smartphone or laptop.

Avid exercisers will need hearing aid models that can withstand the sweat and motion that come from heavy physical activity. Inform them that their audiologist should ask various hearing aid evaluation questions about their lifestyle, expectations, concerns, budget, etc. before making any recommendations. 

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Set Proper Expectations For Hearing Aids 

What To Expect From Hearing Aids

Studies show that increased patient satisfaction directly correlated to number of hours they wore their hearing aids per day. In other words, when patients wore their hearing aids for longer periods of time, they were more likely to receive – and perceive – benefits from the devices. 

Therefore, it’s critical to explain to all patients what they should expect from their hearing aids and manage their expectations when they receive their devices – and in the days, weeks, and months that follow. 

Tell your patients to keep the following things in mind as they start using the hearing aids: 

  • Hearing aids won't return their hearing back to normal.Hearing aids can improve their hearing considerably and make it much easier for them to hear and understand speech and sounds. However, their hearing will never go back to “normal,” even when they’re wearing the hearing aids.   
  • Expect an adjustment period! This is completely normal! The more they wear their hearing aids, the more they’ll get used to the louder, more amplified sounds. 
  • Try the hearing aids in different environments. Things will sound different in various locations, so have customers practice listening to one-on-one conversations in a quiet room, talking to friends in crowded restaurants, watching TV, going to the theater or places of worship in a full auditorium, and being outside on a windy day.  
  • Get support from their loved ones. Having the support of their loved ones is tremendously helpful when adjusting to new hearing aids. Their friends and family should be patient as they get used to their hearing aids, help them practice talking (and listening) in a variety of scenarios, and cheer them up if they become frustrated or discouraged with their new devices. 
  • See their audiologist for regular follow-up visits. Explain that they’ll need to see their audiologist for regular follow-up visits during their initial weeks and months with their hearing aids. Audiologists want to check to make sure the hearing aids are fitting well, adjust the volume, as necessary, and troubleshoot any issues that a customer may be experiencing. Encourage each customer to be honest about any problems or concerns that they may have, to ask any questions, and to remember that audiologists have seen and heard it all before. Audiologists sincerely want to help each customer through the adjustment period, ensure that the hearing aids are working well, and maximize their satisfaction with the devices. 

Helping Customers With Aftercare

Aftercare Hearing Aid Users

Patients’ care experience doesn't stop after they purchase their hearing aids. Providing caring, compassionate, and professional aftercare is a critical part of ensuring Best Care Experiences to your customers. Aftercare efforts can help reduce return rates – as well as patients’ frustration and disappointment if their hearing aids don’t work perfectly right away. 

Did you know that 20% of hearing aids are returned by patients each year? Common reasons for these returns include poor fit, poor sound quality, and discomfort, so be sure to follow up with all patients to ensure that their hearing aids are working well for them. Troubleshoot any issues, such as improper amplification levels, and address each patient’s questions and concerns. 

Hearing aids can help people hear sounds they likely haven’t heard for awhile, which can be unsettling or disconcerting for some people. It takes time to “relearn” how to hear and process sounds, and each patient’s brain needs time to sort out all the new information entering their ears.  

Some people have difficulty adjusting to the sound of their own voice when they start wearing hearing aids. Tell your patients that their voice may sound strange or unfamiliar at first. Some people also find that certain sounds (like chewing and swallowing) sound loud and annoying during the first days with their hearing aids. 

Most hearing clinics allow patients to have a trial period (usually two weeks to a month) to adjust to the hearing aids, get used to the new sounds, and determine if they like the devices. During the trial period, the audiologist will adjust the fit and the programming to make the hearing aids more comfortable.

It typically takes people at least a few weeks of consistently wearing their hearing aids to adjust to them, become accustomed to the louder noises, and start to notice their benefits. But after this adjustment period, many people find that they truly appreciate life with hearing aids.

Auditdata Manage

Audiology Solutions for Patient Onboarding and Aftercare

Our audiology patient management software makes it easy to take questionnaires with patients and understand their lifestyles to find the best solution. Audiologists can send personalized messages, ensuring a smooth and consistent aftercare.

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