Doc Oct is a panel of 8 Concept Doctors, Audiologists & Dispensers that give hearing aid advice via questions from our website.

Q\.  Dear Concept

I’ve been trying to get my mother to use her hearing aids she got.   She’s had them for 5 years.  She only wore them 15 days after she got em [sic], and then stuffed them in her drawer.  She only occasionally put them on during family events, but that’s only if we politely bug her about it.   Her hearing loss is so severe that my brothers and sisters are constantly repeating and shouting at her.     

Why aren’t the hearing aids working for my mother?  What can we do to get her to use them?


Fed Up In Des Moines

A\.   Dear Fed-Up

There are a few reasons your mother struggles with hearing aids

When suffering from hearing loss, your brain loses stimulus it’s used to.   Hearing aids bring back this stimulus (hearing) just as they’re designed to do.  However, the brain is like a muscle.  It’s gotten so used to not hearing anything that “lifting” all this new sound is difficult.  You have to build up to it. 

That’s why 15 days isn’t enough time to adjust to hearing aids.   If they were bothering her after 15 days, it’s a good idea to make an appointment for an adjustment.

But now that the time has passed, this is what I would encourage you to do:

Since the hearing aids are 5 years old, I’d suggest you go to the retailer to get an upgrade, or come to Concept to trade in your old hearing aids for something new.  The new hearing aids are faster, so your mother might see a difference.

Then, challenge your mother to try the hearing aids for 30-45 days straight.    I believe if she gives them a chance, she’ll want to wear them and not have to be asked.