By Dr. Amin Musani
Discovering you have a hearing loss and adjusting to hearing devices can be overwhelming. Most people do not simply lose their hearing overnight. Rather, the hearing loss gradually develops over several years. Over time, you forget what sounds are like. The same is true for learning to hear with a hearing instrument. Simply placing the devices in your ears will not instantly eliminate hearing loss. It takes commitment, determination, patience and support from your audiologist to successfully adjust to hearing instruments.
Don’t be discouraged. For people with long-term hearing loss, sounds heard through a hearing device can be unusual since they haven’t been able to hear them for some time. Adjusting to hearing devices and to the new sounds takes time. Talk to your audiologist if something doesn’t sound right or is uncomfortable. Alert your audiologist about your concerns and ask to have your instrument adjusted or recalibrated.
Persistence is required. Wearing your hearing devices as much as possible is a key factor in success with hearing aids. When required, take a break but place them back in your ears as soon as you are able. Starting slow and increasing the amount of time you wear your devices each day will help with adjusting to them.
Realistic Expectations. Don’t expect to hear every sound clearly from the start. It takes time for your brain to hear the sounds of life again.
If you have a hearing loss, it’s encouraging to know that the majority of people with hearing impairment can significantly improve their hearing and their quality of life with the use of hearing instruments. Today’s digital devices offer many advantages such as better sound quality, customization to your lifestyle, and superior listening comfort in background noise.
Hearing aids can improve your quality of life and diminish many of the negative effects of hearing loss. Benefits include: hearing conversations without straining, even in noisier places; not having others repeat themselves; better understanding of family, friends, movies, radio and television; decreasing feelings of isolation; improved ability to localize where a sounds is coming from; and better communication on the telephone.