Getting used to hearing aids takes some time, especially at first. The learning stage includes getting acclimated to the physical sensations as well as the newfound sense of hearing. To start with, your ears must become accustomed to the feeling of wearing a hearing aid. Again, it will take your brain some time to reacclimatise itself to processing and understanding a full range of sound.
As you get familiar with the various acoustic stimuli all around you, your brain will re-teach itself how to filter background noise and focus on essential noises.
Not to worry, be persistent, and soon you won’t even notice that you’re wearing a hearing aid after a few weeks or months.
What Can I Expect In The First Few Weeks?
Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, you may just hear muffled sounds or be unable to pick out distinct sounds.
Your pattern of perception will shift dramatically when you use a hearing aid. Everyday noises, especially during the familiarisation phase, might sound surprisingly loud.
What Happens During The Familiarisation Phase
Someone with hearing loss would naturally start to suppress “unimportant” auditory such as the rustling of leaves, or clacking of keywords. Consequently, one will no longer be able to hear those noises well, simply because the brain has started to forget to react to those noises.
Because the brain’s sound-processing centers must relearn not only that everything that now sounds different with a hearing aid, but the brain must also filter out particular noises, which might take some time and practice.
What To Do During The Familiarisation Phase
(1) Wear Your Hearing Aid Regularly
To help your brain adjust to typical noise levels again and restore its filtering capabilities, wear your hearing aid on a regular basis. It’s vital to get experience and not give up too soon.
If you want to be able to hear again, keep a hearing diary. This will allow you to track your progress as an individual. If things are really difficult for you, see if your clinician can assist you.
There’s no need to wear your new hearing aid all day at first. If the noises become too loud, remove your hearing aid for a second.
Begin by wearing it for a few hours each day, then increase the length of time you wear it gradually until you are able to wear it every waking hour.
(2) Try Interacting With Various Items
Attempt watching TV or listening to the radio with your hearing aid on. News bulletins are especially suggested for your first tries. Newsreaders are well-trained and articulate clearly.
Try phoning a buddy after that. Start by lowering the volume and raising it as needed during the conversation. If you need additional equipment to get the most out of your phone or television, talk to an audiologist about it.
(3) Have Your First Few Conversations In A Relaxed Atmosphere
The first conversations you have with your hearing aid should be conducted in a calm setting.
It is suggested that you talk to just one or two individuals and always hold the discussion in a quiet area free of background noise, such as a TV or home appliances.
Explain to those around you how deafness affects communication and how they may assist you during talks.
- Your hearing aids are generally equipped with microphones that are directed towards the front. If you’re having a conversation with someone who is sitting behind or beside you, you’ll have a harder time comprehending what they’re saying. Sit across from the person you’re talking to, as near to face-to-face as possible.
- If the discussion is in a big group, remind them of the conversation rules. Speaking clearly and allowing others to speak may go a long way toward establishing understanding.
- Keep an eye on the person’s face and gestures. You may learn to translate movements into words if you pay attention to the mouth of the individual you’re chatting with.
“Better hearing can actually be an unfamiliar experience”
(4) Help The People Around Me
It’s all about concentration
Concentration is key. People who have hearing loss frequently need to concentrate intensely in order to keep up with a conversation, especially in a large group. It is not possible to just listen ‘with half an ear’, thus allow plenty of time and focus and you will be fine.
But… the social context is important too
Someone with a hearing impairment is given a hearing aid – so far, so good. But it’s not only the technology that contributes to better hearing. The social context is also important. Friends and relatives are a valuable source of support.
Be honest with your friends and family
It is also important to be honest and open with the individuals you are speaking with. It doesn’t do anyone any good to smile, nod, or say yes. It just adds to both people’s irritation. If you have not (fully) comprehended something, tell them plainly and keep repeating it.
3 Exercises To Help You Train Your Hearing Daily
1. Learn To Locate Where Sounds Are Coming From
You can practice this skill by standing in a busy square, for example, and picking out certain sounds. Try to identify different sounds and determine the direction they’re coming from. This will also help train your concentration and working memory.
2. Learn To Identify Sounds And The Emotions Triggered
Keep an eye on the sounds you may hear, and keep your attention focused on the feelings they evoke. Certain noises are frequently linked with a certain feeling or memory. The more swiftly and simply a sound is identified, the more effectively it can be recognised.
Ask two individuals to sit on either side of you and assist you. Start by asking them both to speak with you, and see if you can keep up with what they’re saying. This improves your listening skills in both directions, which is particularly advantageous in loud settings.
Consult your hearing aid specialist if you have any concerns, and they will be able to advise you on how you can learnt o adjust to your hearing aid quickly.