Starting to hear again
Most often when people lose their hearing, it’s a gradual process that occurs over many years. Because of this, it’s normal to get accustomed to hearing fewer sounds in the environment and we tend to forget about many of the sounds that are part of everyday life.
Sounds such as the microwave beeps, the turning of pages of a book, the rustling of your clothing, footsteps, the sound of your car engine or the clicking of the indicators, a clock ticking and the birds outside are some of just a few of the everyday sounds that you have probably not heard properly for some time.
What happens when I start to my brain when I lose my hearing?
When you gradually start to lose your hearing, the parts of the brain that usually processes these sounds is no longer being used. The old saying of ‘use it or lose it’ is very true when it comes to hearing. If these parts of the brain are no longer receiving input, due to hearing loss, then they are rewired and used for other inputs.
Let’s say that some of the input mechanisms of the ear no longer function correctly. This means that the areas of the brain that they would preciously have stimulated are no longer being used. If nothing is done to restore the hearing levels to make these sounds audible again, then over time the parts of the brain no longer receiving hearing input will be rewired and used for something else.
Getting used to hearing aids and hearing again
Often when people first start to wear a hearing aid some sounds may not sound natural – and in some cases even annoying.
But don’t worry, because as your brain will rewire itself over time to make room for the extra sounds you are hearing again. This takes time however and the more you wear your hearing device, and the more your brain receives all the extra sounds you hear, the quicker this will happen. If you only wear your hearing device occasionally then it will take much longer for this process to happen. The brain must receive this extra input in order for it to make room for it again.
Remember that you probably lost your hearing gradually and over many years without realising it, so it will take a little while to get used to hearing everything properly again. But if you are patient and persevere then the results will be worth it.
Adjusting to wearing hearing aids can take time, patience, and a bit of practice. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience will be unique, and that there is no right or wrong way to adjust to hearing aids.
Tips for success with your new hearing device
1. Give yourself time:
Be patient! It’s important to be patient with yourself during the adjustment period. It can take several weeks or even months to get used to wearing hearing aids and to notice a significant improvement in your hearing. Remember to celebrate even small improvements and to not get discouraged by setbacks.
It can be overwhelming to suddenly hear everything again and come to the realisation that the world is not as quiet as you thought. You are not hearing anything any louder than those around you, although it may feel that way to start. It will take time for your brain to remember all these sounds again and learn to ignore them again once more.
2. Wear your hearing aids consistently:
Wearing your hearing aids consistently is important to help your brain adjust to the new sounds you’re hearing. When you wear your hearing device as much as possible, you will soon get used to hearing everything again. Start off with a few hours a day around the house and get used to hearing all the extra sounds here first. Gradually increase the amount of time you wear them until you can comfortably wear them all day.
3. Practice listening in different environments:
It’s important to practice listening in different environments to help your brain adjust to the new sounds you’re hearing. As you become used to your hearing device around the home then start to wear them in more challenging listening situations, such as in a shopping centre, at a restaurant or café, in the car, or other noisy environments. The first few times may be difficult, but it will get easier as your brain gets used to the extra noise and learns to focus on what you want to hear, and not so much on the other background sounds.
4. Talk to tour audiologist & make adjustments as needed:
Talk to your audiologist if you feel something is not right. So many people tend to give up and put their hearing devices in a drawer rather than tell their audiologist about issues they are having. It’s important to have an open and honest relationship with your audiologist so that any issues that come up can be resolved quickly.
If your hearing aids don’t feel comfortable or you’re having trouble hearing in certain environments, don’t be afraid to make adjustments. Your audiologist can help you make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your hearing aids are working properly.
5. Keep a diary:
Write down anything that you feel is not quite right with the sound from your hearing device. Include as much information as possible such as where you were and what you were hearing. This will make it easier to made necessary adjustments at your follow up appointments with your audiologist.
Your audiologist can make many different adjustments to your hearing device, so providing them with as much information as possible ensures they make the correct adjustment for you first time. In some cases, it may not be an adjustment to the device that is necessary but just simply getting used to hearing certain sounds again. Your audiologist will be able to advise you based on the information you provide.
6. Attend your follow up appointments:
Even if you feel that everything is going well it’s important to attend any future appointments made by your audiologist. Your audiologist may make some subtle changes to further improve your access to sound, provide additional programs for specific listening situations based on your initial experiences or may use this appointment to focus on communication strategies for you to use in more challenging listening environments. They may also recommend specific assistive listening devices that can be used with your hearing device, in situations where using your hearing device alone is not enough.
7. Seek Support from Family and Friends:
Adjusting to wearing hearing aids can be challenging, and it’s important to have support from family and friends. Talk to your loved ones about your experiences and ask for their support, patience and understanding as you adjust to your new hearing aids.
8. Stay Positive:
Maintaining a positive attitude is key to adjusting to wearing hearing aids. Remember to focus on the improvements you’re making, even if they’re small, and to not get discouraged by setbacks.
In conclusion, adjusting to wearing hearing aids can take time and patience, but with the right mindset and support, it is possible to successfully adjust to wearing them.
If you’re having trouble adjusting to your hearing aids, don’t hesitate to contact us for additional support and guidance. We’ll be very happy to help. You can reach us with further questions, to arrange a visit or more information on our hearing services – send us an email at [email protected] or call us on 01223 661399.