Adapting to hearing aids doesn’t have to be an annoyance so long as you understand their capabilities early on. While hearing instruments can never replace natural hearing, if you know what to expect from your new technology, you’ll be better prepared for the inevitable learning curve. We’ve put together a few things to keep in mind as you make new devices part of your everyday life.
It’s going to sound different
Science and tech have not yet been able to replicate the human hearing mechanism, so hearing aids will not restore your hearing to its former state. Most hearing aids use small computers to amplify and modify sounds, which does make them easier to hear. However, they will still sound slightly different than unfiltered sound because hearing aids remove some unnecessary frequencies in the process.
Hearing aids will not ‘filter out’ background noise
Despite some devices containing directional microphones that will avoid boosting types of background noise, hearing aids are not able to ‘focus’ your hearing on a particular sound in a noisy situation. With this in mind, it’s important to practice lip reading when communicating in crowded social gatherings.
You may still need to communicate your hearing loss
Other people may not notice your hearing condition straight away, as hearing aids will help mask it, but you should feel comfortable enough to make others aware of it as your relationships progress. Once people understand that you require hearing assistance, they tend to be much more accomodating when it comes to speaking clearly, facing you directly, and minimising background noise.
You’ll need time
Remember that your hearing loss has been gradual – over the years, you have lost the ability to hear certain sounds. When you begin to wear hearing aids, those sounds will be restored, and your brain will need to relearn how to respond. Make sure to keep in close contact with your hearing care professional and to attend regular checkups for sound quality adjustments. The more time you spend with your audiologist, the more time they will have to learn about your situation and what you need from hearing aids.
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