What to Expect
Adapting to your hearing aids may take time. Be patient. Adjustment rates may vary between people. If you’re having difficulty, don’t give up. Contact our clinic for assistance. Think of hearing with your new hearing aids as having been in the dark for a long time and coming out into the light. Your ears will squint until your ears adjust to the brightness of some sounds.
Our success rate with patients is unrivalled; over 99% of patients who try hearing aids from our clinic keep them! When you decide to allow Concha Audiology to help you with your hearing healthcare needs you will find out why.
From our experience over the many years and all the thousands of patients we have helped we have identified three major things successful hearing aid users have in common:
- They wear their hearing aids all the time (average over 12-Hours a day)
- Their expectations are reasonable (we cannot turn the clock back on your hearing but we will work up to your capabilities)
- They listen to what we tell them. Our job as professionals is to assess your hearing, factor in your general health issues that may affect your hearing and candidacy for hearing aids then utilize appropriate technology and style to fit your capabilities.
You are hearing in a new way that is not “natural”. In your first few days of wearing the hearing aids you will have to learn how to “listen” with your new ears. Just remember that you have been in the dark with your hearing, now you are coming out into the light. Eventually things will start to sound “normal” after a few weeks. Remember millions of people have gone through what you will go through and things turned out fine. Sounds should never hurt, the hearing aids should never hurt and the hearing aids should not “squeal” all the time (feedback) if they are in your ears properly. Pain or discomfort should never be gotten used to. Contact us right away so we can fix these issues.
Try to avoid excessively loud situations like basketball games or huge parties in the first couple of weeks. After a couple of weeks you can gradually begin to involve yourself in different noise environments.
Situate yourself in a room so you’re directed toward the sound you want to hear, are at a close distance and keep distracting noises to your side or back. Do not sit with your back to a wall or sit in corners. Sound reflects and noises will become louder if you sit with your back to a wall or sit in a corner. Make sure the lighting is good and line of sight is good so you can see the face of the person your are listening to.
Try to determine from which direction a sound is coming and estimate the distance from the sound source.
SORT OUT THE NOISE
Amplified sounds may seem unnatural, particularly if you’re not accustomed to hearing them. Certain features of hearing aids are able to reduce the problems this causes, but background noise is still a concern for many hearing aid users. You must relearn to separate the sounds, identify them, and tune out the noise all over again (listening ability).
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Wear your hearing aids in as many listening environments as possible. Learn what you can and can’t adapt to. Remember to use communication strategies in difficult listening situations.
HAVE REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
Purchasing hearing aids requires much more than merely going to a shop, Van, ordering from a TV ad, ordering from a magazine or big box store and buying what you see. Nor is it going onto the internet and buying a hearing aid based on price or features. Being fit with a hearing aid is a process that takes expertise of a good hearing professional, adequate and extensive counselling, time and patience.
Patients have different results from their hearing aids. Do not expect the same results with your hearing aids as your neighbor has, whether they are good or bad. The results you achieve with your hearing aids will depend on your hearing loss, level of technology, size and power of your aids, and above all, your motivation.
Please remember that if you are experiencing one or all of the situations, you are not alone. Many other patients are experiencing the same things you are. It is our hope, that by being patient, having reasonable expectations, listening to what we tell you, and working closely with your Audiologist, you will learn to use your hearing aids effectively and live the fullest life possible.
Hearing aid users encounter some common experiences. Contact our clinic if you have difficulty with any of these situations.
ALL SOUNDS SEEM LOUD
You are reentering a world of sounds you may not have heard for a long time. Expect things to seem loud at first. Because you have a hearing loss you lose ability to judge loudness of sounds properly. As you listen more with the hearing aids you will begin to judge the loudness of sounds in appropriate categories. The sounds should never be so loud they cause physical discomfort.
I HEAR SPEECH BUT I CAN’T ALWAYS UNDERSTAND IT
Hearing aids can help improve speech understanding but cannot restore that ability to normal levels. In some situations, especially when there is a background of noise, you may have difficulty understanding parts of what people say. Even people with normal hearing cannot always hear everything being said. Try to use your vision to supplement your hearing (speech reading) and place yourself in an optimal listening position to help your communication. Wearing two hearing aids may also improve your ability to understand.
MY VOICE SOUNDS DIFFERENT
Your voice is now being heard through an electronic instrument which is not the same as hearing it naturally. Most hearing aid users adjust to this difference in a matter of weeks. Give yourself time to adjust to the new sound.
THE HEARING AIDS ARE NOISY WHEN I’M OUTSIDE
When wind hits the microphone of the hearing aid, it can cause excessive noise. A wind screen placed over the microphone may help reduce the noise. Also, certain new hearing aid technologies have wind noise reduction circuitry within them that adjust automatically to reduce wind noise.
MY EARS FEEL PLUGGED
When wearing the Hearing Aids this feeling may gradually lessen as you adjust to wearing your hearing aids. If not, contact our clinic for possible modifications to reduce this discomfort. There is also new hearing aid technology which reduces that plugged up sensation.
RESTAURANTS SEEM TOO NOISY
In restaurants, request a booth instead of a table. Try to sit with the noise to your back or sides. Never sit by the front door or facing the kitchen or cash register. Sit facing the person you want to pay attention to. Do not sit in corners or with your back to the wall.
Have you ever noticed that hearing aid batteries decide to die whenever you don’t have any handy? Try this! When you take the little paper tab off of a new hearing aid battery, put it on the calendar. This will help you figure out how long a battery will last (if you haven’t figured that out already). Now you can tell with a quick glance at the calendar when it’s time to change batteries, before they stop working (or at least make sure that you have some spares with you).