Hi guys. Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona, and in this video I'm going to explain the real reasons why you HATE your hearing aids...coming up!
If you decided to watch this video, then there is a good chance that you hate your hearing aids or you're at least interested in why other people hate theirs. The fact is, according to recent Marketrak data, hearing aid satisfaction rates have skyrocketed, going from 58% satisfaction in 1989, all the way up to 83% satisfaction rates here in 2022. It's no wonder why the percentage of individuals using hearing aids now is higher than ever before and continues to rise. This is largely in part due to hearing aid technology getting substantially better over the course of that time, as well as more hearing care professionals following best practices when selecting, fitting and programming these devices. As significant as this increase in hearing aid satisfaction is there are still 17% of individuals who are not satisfied with their hearing aids, but this is the exception and you, my friend, are an outlier.
So this video is for you, but before I explain exactly why you still hate your hearing aids, while everybody else seems to love theirs, if you could do me a huge favor and click that like button, it really helps out my channel because it gets these videos in front of a bigger audience. And while you're at it, if you have not yet hit that subscribe button with notification bell, go ahead and do that as well, because that ensures that you never miss one of my newly released videos and I release multiple new videos every single week. That being said, I really appreciate it. Now let's take a look at the two main reasons why you still hate your hearing aids, and the first reason is you are using the wrong hearing aids. There are literally hundreds of different hearing aids on the market right now, and not every single one of them is capable of treating your hearing loss effectively.
I spend virtually all of my free time learning about these new technologies, but even I have not reviewed every single one of them. Each of these hearing aids come in a variety of different styles from invisible in the canal to receiver in canal, and even behind the ear with everything in between. All of them have their pros and cons when it comes to their programming capabilities, the way that they fit in your ears, as well as the way that they look. Select the wrong one, and you may never be able to make it sound the way you want it to sound, make it feel the way you want it to feel, or make it look the way you want it to look. Each brand of hearing aid also has its own features and different technology levels that may or may not have the features that you actually want.
For instance, if you want a hearing aid that can wirelessly connect up to a variety of different smart devices, then you need to make sure that you get a hearing aid that has Bluetooth classic capabilities. If you don't want to change batteries all the time, then you have to make sure that you go with the hearing aid that has a lithium battery, so you can just charge it at the end of the day. If you want a hearing aid that has tracking capabilities, so just in case you lose it, you're able to find it again, you have to make sure that you get a hearing aid with that feature. If you want a hearing aid that uses an ear mold with a variable vent that opens and closes based on the environment that you're in, you have to have a hearing aid that has that particular ear mold.
If you want a hearing aid that can be be customized precisely to your hearing loss prescription, you have to go with a high enough technology level to make that possible. Of course, if you want several or all of these features inside of the same hearing aid, then you're probably taking hundreds of different hearing aids and chopping it down to a list of around two or three. If you end up going to a clinic or a provider that only dispenses one brand of hearing aid, then there is a very good chance that the hearing aid that you get will not have all of the features that you want. And on top of that, there's a good chance that those hearing aids are locked. So if you don't like the services you're receiving from them, you're outta luck. You cannot take that hearing aid anywhere else. I have patients coming to my clinic all of the time that absolutely hate their hearing aids because they were only given the option of one particular brand and the technology level that they went with did not have the features that they needed.
However, the hearing aid itself is only one reason why you hate your hearing aids. The second reason, which is much more likely of a reason, is that your hearing care professional never followed best practices. Unfortunately, less than 30% of hearing care professionals follow best practices, and you are the one who suffers for it. If I had to guess, I would say that the vast majority of the 17% of individuals who still do not like their hearing aids don't like them because they went to a hearing care provider who did not follow best practices. Think of best practices as a long list of gold standard procedures that must be completed by your hearing care professional, and if they are not completed precisely, then you are flushing your hearing aid satisfaction and money for that matter right down the toilet. These best practices include things like speech in noise testing, validation, outcome measures, real ear verification, electroacoustic analysis, training on how to use your hearing aids, auditory rehabilitation, and structured follow-up care for optimal long-term performance.
Among other things, the biggest limitation for providing comprehensive best practice audiologic care, and the reason why most hearing care professionals do not follow best practices, is time. It takes several combined hours to be able to test your hearing properly, identify your specific wants and needs before selecting a hearing aid fitting and programming those hearing aids, and providing you with long-term follow-up care. So if your hearing care professional has not spent several hours with you doing all of those things, then chances are you have not received best practice care. If every provider out there did follow comprehensive best practices, I suspect that hearing aid satisfaction rates would be upwards of 99% just like they are in my clinic. If you would like to learn more about best practices, then I highly recommend you check out my best practices video that I will link in the description.
The good news is there are hearing care professionals who are out there who do follow these best practices. The problem is it is very hard to find one of them. This is why I started the HearingUp Provider Network. This network of vetted hearing care professionals dispense more than just one brand of hearing aids, and they are committed to following best practices to make sure that you love your hearing aids instead of hate them. As of me recording this video, it is 2022, and if you still hate your hearing aids, it's because of one of these two reasons, or you just have completely unrealistic expectations. I guess the only way to find out is for you to get the right hearing aids set up the right way by a hearing care professional who follows best practices, and just maybe you can go from hating your hearing aids to loving them. That's it for this video. If you have any questions, leave them the comment section below. If you like the video, please share it. If you wanna see other videos just like this one, go ahead and hit that subscribe button. Also, feel free to check out my website, HearingUp.com.
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