Personalized Hearing Care

How To Use Your Hearing Aids Controls

two hands adjusting the controls of a hearing aid device

Probably you've noticed that you're getting lost in a conversation or hearing words incorrectly. Or your family is always complaining about how the television is too loud. And almost certainly, your family and friends think that you should get your ears checked.     

If any of these situations is a normal occurrence, you're likely one among the millions of Americans with hearing loss. But if you're aware that you could have hearing loss, there's no reason for you to be embarrassed. Since this is a normal condition, there are a few interesting facts that might probably give you the courage to speak out: 

  • 38 million Americans, or better yet, 12% of the U.S. population, have hearing loss
  • The WHO estimates that there are 32 million children affected by hearing loss
  • It takes an average of seven years before people with hearing loss can seek help 
  • Hearing aids are a viable solution for people with hearing loss 

Often, many people mistakenly think that hearing loss is a preserve for the elderly. Much to their chagrin, 65% of people with some sort of hearing loss are yet to clock 65 years. According to a John Hopkins Medicine study, one in five Americans ages 50 and below are grappling with hearing loss. What's more, hearing loss is top among the most widespread health problems in the United States. 

Unfortunately, most physician visits typically won't include a check of your hearing during a routine physical. Because hearing loss is a part of the aging process, it's important to visit an audiologist to have your hearing evaluated. If a hearing loss is detected, the most commonly recommended solution is to get a pair of hearing aids. Since technology has greatly improved, there are digital devices that can alleviate different types of hearing loss.  

And that's not all; some more sophisticated models come with rechargeable batteries or a direct connection to a smartphone.   

Why should you get a pair of hearing aids, you might ask? It's simply because they will amplify any sound that seems to have grabbed your attention. More often than not, hearing aids are often recommended to anyone with sensorineural – one common type of hearing loss. If you have this hearing impairment, it implies that you've damaged the inner ear's tiny hair cells. But this anomaly can only be ascertained if you're diagnosed with hearing loss across several frequencies or pitches.

  • While it's easy to get a pair of hearing aids, you still need to learn how to use the controls because they vary a great deal. 
  • On/off 
  • To preserve power, you should switch off your hearing aid when not in use. This means that this device has a power button control. 
  • On most models, you can turn the hearing aid off using the battery compartment where there's a switch marked O-T-M. The "O" depicts that the device is not in use while "M" stands for normal use. 
  • Before you get hold of this device, it's almost certain that your audiologist will walk you through the process of powering it on and off. 

Volume control

It's unimaginable to find a hearing aid that comes without a volume control function. Usually, the volume control is a wheel, or it may be a little lever. If you intend to make the hearing aid louder or quieter, you should push the volume controls up and down, respectively. Some advanced models can adjust the volume automatically, judging by how loud sounds are. 

Besides, your hearing aids can be synchronized in such a way that you only need to adjust the volume of one aid. 

Directional microphones 

If your hearing aid comes with directional microphones, it probably has a switch that allows you to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction. The switch will turn the directional microphones to sounds in front of you or those coming from the side or behind. In different situations, you can switch between "all-round" and directional sound. 

Program button

Hearing aids have up to four programs, and it's possible to change from one program to another. A program button will enable you to complete this function. If you're a newbie, the number of beeps will help you know which program you are on. This control function even gets better because you can optimize listening, especially when you're in different situations. 

After all is said and done, many people who use hearing aids wish they had acquired this device sooner. To understand how hearing aids can benefit you, contact Lowe Audiology at 260-222-7925.