Linda Parasiz is 34 years old, married and the mother of two children (4 and 6). She lives in Tilburg and works as a communication officer in education. She likes to do fun things with her family and friends and enjoys sports. She contracted sudden deafness in January 2019 and has been deaf in her right ear ever since. She wears a Starkey Livio.
When I went to purchase a hearing aid at the age of 34, I noticed that “the industry” is mainly aimed at the older target group. That is logical, because of the nearly 1.3 million moderate to hard of hearing people (survey by SIRM, July 2019), approximately 80% are older than 67 years. Only as younger hearing aid wearers do we sometimes have other interests, needs and problems that we encounter. That’s why I investigated myself. Here are 7 tips, based on my personal experiences.
Do you say “what are you saying?” Some 43 times a day and find yourself sometimes just saying “yes” because you don’t want to ask for repetition again? Then a hearing aid is really not an unnecessary luxury. You will find that it positively affects all of your interactions. Step over that first barrier and just give it a try. You usually have a trial period of two months, in which you can try the device without obligation and free of charge. If you don’t like it, you can just give it back.
Hearing aids have changed a lot in recent years and no longer look the way you might have seen them a long time ago with your grandfather or grandmother. They are very small nowadays and therefore hardly visible. You can also determine the color of your device yourself. If you don’t want it to stand out behind your ear, choose a neutral color that resembles your hair. Or make a statement with a brightly colored hearing aid, such as red. Or do you opt for white, just like the “earpods” that many young people are wearing at the moment? See what suits you.
With the latest gadgets, a hearing aid is often no longer inferior to a trendy smartwatch. Download the accompanying app to operate your device and make sure you stay up to date with the latest updates. Nowadays you can already stream music and make hands-free calls with many devices. If you tell your friends this, they will suddenly think your hearing aid is pretty cool.
I noticed that my hearing care professional was not aware of the additional hearing aid options. Perhaps because most (older) customers are not interested in it. This was interesting for me, because those were the options that made it somewhat fun for me to wear a hearing aid. Can I stream music on my hearing aid with my Samsung Galaxy S8? Do I need an accessory for that? Are there other hearing aids with more options (for an additional fee)? They were questions to which he had no answers. So I went looking for that myself.
When you are young you often come across crowded environments; restaurants, cafes, gym, schoolyard … Even with a hearing aid, these are difficult hearing situations, because the background noise is also amplified. Fortunately, there are handy accessories that can improve your hearing in these situations. For example, there is a microphone that you place on the table, and that in a noisy environment the voices of your conversation partners so you can understand them without any problems. It is certainly worthwhile to look at the possibilities in the field of accessories .
Look beyond just hearing aids that are reimbursed. Health insurers usually only reimburse hearing aids that are less advanced. That’s a shame because advanced devices have just the nice gadgets such as a translation function or a pedometer.
It pays not to buy your device directly from “the first best” hearing care professional, but to compare (online) prices. That’s exactly what our generation is good at! For example, there are also online providers who offer the same devices for a lower price and with the same good service. Take a look at Online-HearingAids.com . This is one of the cheapest online hearing aid providers, and they offer a great service.
In short, if you are going to buy a hearing aid, you will have to investigate (just like with the purchase of any other device). The hearing care professional can help you on your way, but usually does not know all the options that are interesting for us. Also, as a younger hearing aid wearer, you usually cannot exchange experiences with peers, as you could with the purchase of a mobile phone or tablet. So look for the hearing solution that meets your personal needs, look at accessories and connect your hearing aid to your phone. In this way, wearing a hearing aid – also for the somewhat younger target group – will hopefully become just a bit more attractive.