Realistic Expectations

I recently came across an article entitled “Hearing Aids: Reasonable Expectations for the Consumer.” It delves into just about every aspect of the hearing aid experience.

When purchasing hearing instruments, you should expect:

  • Your audioprosthologist to assess your hearing difficulties in different environments
  • To be offered a thirty-day evaluation period
  • Hearing instruments to cost more than you think they should cost
  • An initial orientation session in which you will learn how to handle and care for your new hearing instruments
  • A period of adjustment
  • Your voice to sound different to you
  • A good and comfortable fit
  • Multiple follow-up appointments
  • To be able to hear well, but not perfectly, in quiet listening situations and most small group settings
  • To have some difficulty hearing in noisy situations
  • Your hearing instruments to squeal/ whistle in some circumstances
  • Repairs
  • To buy batteries
  • To purchase new hearing aids every five years
  • To enjoy the sounds of life again

The hearing impaired individual must accept that hearing loss has detrimental effects on interpersonal relationships and safety. A person’s motivation to hear well is the single most important factor in determining the success of the hearing instrument fitting. It is important to realize that you will not experience the exact same benefits from your hearing instruments as your neighbor does. Your hearing loss is unique to you, and so is its correction.

The article’s title implies there are reasonable expectations for the consumer. Therefore, there must also be “unreasonable expectations.” For the most part, there is only one totally unreasonable expectation— that hearing aids will restore perfect hearing.