Hearing Aids

Does Your Loved One Have Hearing Aids He or She Doesn’t Wear?

If you have a parent who has hearing loss, you know that it can be a battle just to get them to acknowledge the issue, then come in for a hearing test, and then get fitted for hearing aids. Once that’s done, you might think you’re out of the woods and your job as a dutiful son or daughter is done.
However, we occasionally hear from the relatives of patients who went through that whole process and their loved ones are just not wearing the hearing aids they have. If that’s the case, it’s not always that the person is bad at following directions. Instead, something else might going on, and the cause is worth investigating. Here are three reasons your loved one might be hesitant to wear their new (or old) hearing aids:

  1. They’re not effective. If the person doesn’t notice much of a difference in their hearing, they might not be inclined to go through the trouble of wearing hearing aids. If they were just fitted for them, this really shouldn’t be the case, because the audiologist would have used the patient’s feedback in the adjustment of the device. However, if the hearing aids are older, it’s possible that they’re not longer adequately amplifying.

It’s also possible that the hearing aids are not programmed correctly. If this is the case, the audiologist can make changes to the hearing aid programming to help maximize the benefit. Take your loved one in for a checkup and your audiologist will be able to judge whether the hearing aids are functioning or not.

  1. They offer a poor fit. While helping the patient hear better, the hearing aids have to be worn all day, every day. As such, they need to fit well—otherwise they will be noticeable to the patient and a constant nuisance. Let’s face it—no one wants to wear something that’s uncomfortable all day.

Depending on the model of hearing aid, this could be an easy fix or a more challenging one. Some hearing aids are adjustable, but adjustability only works to a point. Thankfully, we’re seeing a trend that hearing aids across the board are becoming smaller and more comfortable, so if the patient’s hearing aids are a few years old, chances are we can offer them something they’ll find more comfortable to wear.

  1. They’re afraid of social stigma. Some people don’t want to be seen wearing hearing aids because they feel that it makes them look old, or just different from others. This is a tough one to get around. If you find yourself in this situation, try to make a bargain with your loved one to get them to give the hearing aids another shot. If the hearing aids are doing their job, the improvement in quality of life should be enough to convince them that the trouble is worth it, but people are different. Thankfully, with modern hearing aids being smaller than ever, they also tend to be more discrete and less likely to cause embarrassment.

Whatever the reason, if your loved one isn’t wearing his or her hearing aids, it’s likely time for another trip to the audiologist so the problem can be diagnosed. If you find yourself in this situation, whether the hearing aids were purchased from us or not, contact us to schedule an appointment!

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.