First experience with a hearing aid
What is the first experience with a hearing aid like?
Most people won’t realise how bad their hearing is until they wear their first hearing aid, which can be a very exciting yet confronting experience. Fear of the unknown often holds us back from a better life for ourselves, so we’ve written a quick list of what to expect when you wear a hearing aid for the first time.
Things will sound different
Over the course of your life, your brain will develop an auditory memory of sound. When you experience hearing loss, that memory becomes distorted from reality but will sound ‘normal’ to you. When you start wearing hearing aids, you are forcing your brain to reshape that distorted auditory memory back to the reality of what it sounds like. This can be an overwhelming experience, as sounds that you thought you knew well are slightly or even totally different to what you remember! For instance, your best friend’s voice may seem more squeaky than usual, or the fan humming in the kitchen may be louder than you remember. All of these changes are part of the adaptation process. The good news is that all of these sounds will become ‘normal’ as your brain adapts and establishes new auditory connections.
Take it slow
Your audiologist will usually ask you to wear your hearing aids fulltime from the day you receive them, but that doesn’t mean we expect you to throw yourself into a noisy bar with your friends on the same night! Start your hearing aid journey by spending more time in familiar environments. This may be your home or workplace where sounds are predictable and familiar. This is the best way to start ‘relearning’ what sounds are meant to be like. Once you feel more comfortable and confident with your hearing aids you can really take them for a spin in noisy areas.
Be Patient with Yourself
Hearing aids are foreign to almost everyone when they first start using them. There is lots to learn including inserting them properly, changing batteries, cleaning and connecting them to your phone. Don’t be discouraged if you mess these things up or forget how to do them – no one expects you to become an expert overnight! Keeping your audiologist in the loop is extremely important especially across your first year with your hearing aids where you may need more help. Your audiologist will be there to address any of your concerns, teach you how to handle your devices and help with any troubleshooting.
Want to experience hearing aids for yourself?
At Ear and Hearing Australia we offer a 4 weeks trial period on all our devices so you can experience better hearing for yourself. If you would like to take the next step, then call up for an appointment with one of our qualified audiologists on 1300 761 667.