Sound is something that connects people – through communication, shared experiences, and the background noise that surrounds us every day. Sound informs us about our surroundings and allows us to relate to one another. But for people with hearing loss, this connection to the world is weakened. The impact of hearing loss is something that can be extremely isolating. Thankfully, hearing aids can bring that connection back to people with hearing loss.

Modern digital hearing aids have advanced far past previous analog models and have become much more inconspicuous and powerful, allowing for more targeted approaches to hearing loss. Digital hearing aids can isolate speech and reduce background noise in order to make conversations easier to understand. By using directional microphones, digital hearing aids can also help identify which direction sounds are coming from. Other features, such as the ability to connect digital hearing aids to a variety of devices, are another way that digital hearing aids can lessen the impact of hearing loss.

For first-time users of hearing aids, especially those who have gone without treatment for several years, the transition can take time. Hearing loss varies from person to person, so it’s critical to find the right model of hearing aid and the best possible settings for each specific patient. It can also be startling to be able to hear sounds that you’ve gotten used to not hearing, and the influx of information can be overwhelming. But there are some things that you can do to make this transition easier.

When you first get fitted for your new hearing aids, your hearing care professional will recommend a schedule to follow that will help you adjust to wearing your new hearing aids. Even if sounds become overwhelming or you don’t think you need to be wearing them, you should try your best to only remove your hearing aids as scheduled. Another way that you can improve your experience with your hearing aids is by keeping track of how your hearing aids behave in different environments. Making a note of the volume and quality of sound that you experience in different locations and scenarios can help your hearing care professional adjust your hearing aids to suit you better. The most important thing to remember is that learning to use your hearing aids is a process and will take time to adjust, but the results will absolutely be worth it.

Before beginning the process of finding the right hearing aid, it’s important to know when to buy hearing aids. Many people who would benefit from hearing aids don’t buy them, sometimes because they don’t realize they need them, but also because of the perceived stigma surrounding hearing aids. Also, a lot of people who do use hearing aids have spent years living with the impact of hearing loss before seeking treatment.

Hearing aids are not something that should be seen as a symbol of age or declining health, but rather a way of reconnecting with the world. The decision of when to buy hearing aids should not be ruled by the fear of how it could look to others, but rather by the desire to connect with those around you, and a decision between you and a hearing care professional.