Keys To Hearing Aid Success
Congratulations in taking the first steps to better hearing. You have just crossed the biggest hurdle toward better hearing in obtaining a hearing aid. Now that you have begun to adjust using your hearing aid(s) daily, here are some things to consider as you no doubt experience the success and frustration associated in communication with others.
While individual experiences with amplification may vary based on the person's hearing loss and support commitment, you will eventually learn the best methods for improving communication and using your hearing aids to their best advantage. To assist you in achieving this, here are a few tips towards success with your hearing aids:
- BE PATIENT! You most likely did not lose your hearing overnight and you will not improve it overnight. You are probably hearing sounds you have not heard for years AND you are adjusting to a new way of hearing these sounds. As you learn to recognize the sounds around you, your brain gradually adds it to your natural "file system" allowing them to not hold so much of your conscious attention.
- THIS IS NOT NORMAL HEARING! A hearing aid improves your hearing but does not correct it. It is normal for you to still have difficulty in some situations. Pay attention, likely those with normal hearing may also be having trouble, but don’t notice it because this is NORMAL.
- BE REALISTIC: Each hearing aid is a customized device – it is made and adjusted to fit your individual ears. As with any customized device some variation may occur causing one or both aids to not fit or sound perfect the first time you wear them. Some modification to the fit or even a remake may be necessary to make them a comfortable fit. Do not be afraid to ask about this. THIS IS WHY THERE IS A TRIAL PERIOD. It gives you and the audiologist a chance to address issues that may arise with the aids. DISCOMFORT IS NOT OKAY. It is like a poorly fitted shoe – if you continue walking with the discomfort, you will only end up with a blister.
- MAKE AN EFFORT: Hearing aid success requires an effort on your part to achieve better hearing. Practice, practice, practice with the hearing aid(s). Your brain needs consistent stimulation to adapt to a new way of processing sound. As such, insignificant sounds may appear too loud at first. As your brain adjust to a new way of hearing, you should notice these sounds less and be able to distinguish them from speech.
- NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK AND RE-ASK HEARING AID QUESTIONS: Even if this is not your first time wearing aids, information has changed or may never have been provided. If you are not sure if something is normal, OR if there is a concern regarding the sound quality, cleaning, care, or just realistic expectations, talk it over with the audiologist.