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Can I start over?

One of my patients called me right before Christmas.

I had not heard from him in over a year.

He asked me a question I hear frequently. Maybe you are asking the same thing in your mind.

He said, “Jeff, my hearing aids are in a drawer. I haven’t worn them in months. Can I come in for a retest and re-education on how to use them…can I start over?” I said “of course” and set the appointment.

I can’t speak for other hearing health care professionals but I am always delighted when a patient takes the initiative to improve their hearing ability. Getting hearing aids is an adjustment process. Some patients can be overwhelmed and rather than continue to ask their professional for help, they give up and put a valuable investment back in the box and out of sight.

The hearing aids will not tap you on the shoulder, but if you have a spouse, most likely they have reminded you from time to time about the need and of course the money you paid to buy the hearing aids. Starting over can be an important moment to learn correct insertion, volume control, microphone choices, cleaning, battery placement, and or rechargeable features. Your hearing can be noticeably better using the hearing aids you already have. I have worn aids for 12 years and once in awhile leave the office with them setting there in the charger on my desk.

My mind is elsewhere until I walk in my home door to hear my wife’s greeting greatly diminished without my hearing aids on. There really is a huge difference to wearing hearing aids if you need them. I have told you how I feel about starting over and I think every other hearing professional would feel the same way.

If you have your hearing aids in a drawer, call the professional where you bought them and make a “start over” appointment early in this New Year. If you are thinking about hearing aids for the first time know that hearing care is health care. If you have the symptoms of hearing loss let a professional help you find out why. The hearing professional will help you sort out the technology level to meet your need, your budget, and answer your hearing need questions.

Happy New Year!

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Jeffrey L. Bayliff, NBC-HIS is owner, Hear the Birds Hearing Aid Center, Lock Haven, Pa.

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