If you have been living with hearing loss and have gotten used to it, in a certain way, then wearing hearing aids and hearing the sharpness of sound that you have been missing out on for so long, can feel quite overwhelming, but also quite exciting. It can take some getting used to, as it can feel like you’re listening to a whole new world. You will also need to take some time getting used to the feeling of having something in and around your ear, depending on what style you need or choose. But once you have adjusted, your new hearing aids could be a new lease on life for you, becoming something you rely on for your day-to-day communications.
Meeting with a hearing instrument specialist is something that is going to be important, as they can guide you to the right kind of hearing instrument for your needs. Just make sure that you are armed and prepared with questions to ask them so that you’re happy, satisfied, and ready to face this new hearing journey.
1. What can I expect in the first few weeks?
The answer to this can depend on how severe your hearing loss is because you might have had quite muffled hearing for quite a while, so you may have missed some ‘normal’ sounds that happen day-to-day. But with some new hearing aids, this will be a thing of the past, as you’ll be able to hear so much. To start, the sounds may even seem quite loud, and you may be sensitive to them. Even your own voice or voices of loved ones might appear a little different to you, but it is something that you’ll quickly get used to.
2. What does wearing a hearing aid feel like?
There is no getting away from the fact that wearing a hearing aid is something that will take some getting used to. Like starting to wear glasses for the first time, it can feel a little strange. You will be putting something in and around your ear, and your brain will also need to get used to perceiving and processing sounds in a different way again. However, because they are tailored to fit your hearing loss needs, they will be comfortable to wear and your adjustment period will be short.
3. What can I expect after that?
It is important to make sure that you give yourself time. But having an idea of what to expect is something that can be really helpful. You might have not really taken much notice of the clacking of a computer keyboard at work, for example, your brain will have forgotten it. The part of the brain that processes sound will need to learn that things sound different with a hearing aid, and it will need to learn what to filter out or not. So just be prepared for this kind of thing.
4. How can my friends and family help?
There is no doubt that you will have some friends or family that are wanting to help you with this new step in life. They will be happy to see that you are making changes to improve things and taking the move towards better hearing. But they will also want to know the best way that they can help you, which your hearing instrument specialist will be able to give some advice on. When you have the help of friends and family, then it can make the whole process much smoother and will make the improved hearing quality, something that is really valuable and precious to you.
Being patient is important for you and your loved ones. You need to start being patient with yourself and remember that things aren’t just going to click right away. Be honest with those around you, too; if you need help, make sure you let them know you need it.
5. Any tips to help?
If you want to finish off when speaking to your hearing instrument specialist, then it can be a good idea to ask them for a few tips. They might know some quick tips and tricks for putting the hearing aid in your ear quickly, or the best order to remove it from your ear. They also might know how best to clean the instruments, so ask them for some advice on general care and aftercare. If you are thinking of something, then no question is silly; ask away.