Putting on a pair of hearing aids is not like putting on a pair of eyeglasses. Most people expect that hearing aids will allow them to hear the way they did in their youth. It doesn’t work that way. Correcting hearing can be complicated and requires the skill of an Audiologist who is artful in their approach. An Audiologist will focus on achieving optimal results with data that is collected during your assessment.
Improving hearing involves retraining the brain. It can take up to a year for the brain to reorganize itself given all of the new sounds and stimulation. The auditory portion of the brain requires repeated activity and time to wake up. It is true that some people adapt quicker than others. Committing to the process and turning on an implant or wearing the hearing aid is the most important part in achieving the best outcome.
As the brain rewires itself to process new sounds, speech may not sound normal. There will be a different quality to certain sounds and voices. Soft sounds such as hearing the airflow through a vent may be annoying at first. Eventually, these sounds will end up in the background again. High frequency sounds like birds chirping or the turn signal on the car will be detected. You may find the sound of your own voice to be unnatural, which also takes time to acclimate. Prepare for the fact that it will take time for the brain to adapt.
The road to better hearing varies greatly among individuals. Each of us possess a unique ability to interpret what we hear and how we function when the world gets noisy. Expectations and limitations should be clearly defined.
If you are new to hearing aids, it’s best to put those devices on each morning and wear them until you get ready for bed. One day you will notice that the world gets very quiet when the hearing aids are removed. If you have been putting off seeing an Audiologist, the time is now. Technology is fabulous and we would love to meet you.