Many people are surprised how things change with hearing aids. In fact, it can take your brain up to several months to get used to the all the new sounds. Keep these things in mind:
- Be realistic. Remember that your hearing loss has been gradual; over the years, you have lost the ability to hear certain sounds. Hearing aids will help you hear better – but not perfectly.
- New sound picture. In general, expect a different sound picture with an amplified compressed sound. You are hearing the high-frequency speech sounds again, like e.g. /s/, /f/ and /t/, that you have been missing and your brain has to become reacquainted.
- All sounds may seem very loud. The pitch of the telephone, the sound of your clothes rustling as you walk, your chewing when you eat or the hum of your refrigerator motor will seem loud in relation to other sounds.
- Adjusting to wind, whistling and feedback from hearing aid. Whistle and howling – and also noise from hair. If you don’t have a volume control on your aids, they will squeal when you place them in your ears.
- Noisy situations will be hard at first. Although modern hearing aids are technologically advanced, they can’t eliminate all unwanted background noise.
- Buzzing sound when using cell phone. Some people experience problems with the radio frequency interface caused by cell phones.
- Getting used to your own voice. One of the strangest things for new hearing aid wearers can be the sound of their own voice! It may be hard to judge how loud to talk. For others, it might sound like you’re sitting in a barrel.
- Lack of externalization of sounds. You may experience the sensation that all sounds are inside of your the head rather than coming from outside the head.
- You will experience listening fatigue. Your brain is adjusting to a lot of new information in the form of sound waves.
- Sound fitting is a process and may take time. Patience is really a virtue—but your patience will benefit you as your world expands and you reconnect with the conversations happening around you.
We are here for you! As you become more and more familiar with your hearing aids, you should experience a near to normal sound picture. Tell your audiologist what you hear and if, for example, certain sounds are uncomfortable, (s)he can adjust your hearing aids accordingly. If you need additional assistance, please call 877-702-9629.