• The Successful Hearing Aid User

    Audiology researchers studied 160 hearing aid users to determine which factors contribute to successful hearing aid use.  Of the five factors identified, only one was related to hearing loss itself.  The other four factors were related to personality or attitude.

    The most important factors contributing to successful hearing aid use were:

    Family support: The most important factor for success was the positive support of family and friends.  There was high agreement with statements such as “The people around me think it was wise to get hearing aids,” and “The people around me think I hear better with my hearing aids.”  Having your friends or family involved and bringing them with you to your appointments can help them understand your hearing loss.  They are also the individuals who are most familiar with your hearing loss so they will serve as an unbiased onlooker who can tell you if the aids are serving their purpose or not.

    Personal Attitude: Individuals who had a positive attitude about hearing aids and were comfortable handling them were successful users.  Keeping a positive attitude both before and after obtaining hearing aids can also contribute to success.

    Hearing difficulty: Those who reported more hearing difficulties were more likely to be successful hearing aid users. Due to the fact that they’ve faced more hurdles and missed out on more dialogue, people with more hearing difficulty are more likely to notice even the most subtle of changes.  Whether is the squeaking of your shoes or the subtle taps of a symbol on a drum, it amazes individuals on what details they were missing out on.

    Implications: The results from this and other research suggest that:

    – Family members should be involved in the hearing rehabilitation process.

    – The process should include a “thorough exploration of the effects of the hearing loss.”

    – Instruction and demonstration of the handling of the hearing aids contribute to successful use.