Telephone ringtones, traffic noise, chirping of birds, a good hearing amplification devices can brings the sounds of the world to life. If one has become accustomed to his deafness, one may at first be slightly overwhelmed by these many sensory impressions. Do not be discouraged and take the time you need to get used to your new hearing aid. This involves getting used to the physical sensation of the prosthesis in the ear as well as listening in itself. One thing is certain, after some time of adaptation, you will not be able to separate from your prosthesis!
What should we expect in the first weeks?
Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, you may not be able to hear some noises at the moment. The use of a hearing aid suddenly changes this perception. Your daily life can seem frighteningly noisy, especially during the familiarization period. Your own voice may sound different to your ear. The sound of the usual noises can also change. Do not be discouraged!
Wearing your new device and takes time for you to get used to, especially at the beginning. This phase of adaptation includes both the physical sensation and the new “hearing.” Your ears must first become familiar with this feeling caused by the device used.The brain must also suddenly perceive new stimuli and treat them. It may be a long time ago when you were still hearing the entire sound spectrum, and many of the ambient sounds that people with normal hearing have learned to ignore will seem new to you, so you will have a hard time rejecting them at first.
As you become familiar with the many acoustic stimuli around you, your brain will also have to relearn over time to mask ambient noise and focus on loud noises. Be patient. After a few weeks or months, you will not even notice that you are wearing a hearing aid.
What should we watch for during the adaptation phase?
1. Give youself time
Normally, insignificant sound stimuli are masked like the rustle of leaves or the tapping of keys in an office. However, even if we no longer perceive these noises, the brain forgets how to manage them. The areas of the brain that process the sounds should not only learn that all the sounds are slightly different with a hearing aid, but they should also remember that some noise needs to be filtered again. It can take some time.
2. Get used to handling the device
An essential point that can help you become familiar with your new hearing aid every day is to get used to handling it. Your hearing care professional will explain how to insert and remove your hearing aid. Practice doing it regularly. Ask about the proper maintenance and cleaning methods . Try the various settings and listen to the differences.
3. First use the device at home
Use your prosthesis first in a calm environment. This will help you better recognize the sounds and better relate them to the elements they relate to, without you being disturbed by the noise of traffic or the sound of a conversation. You must be careful to create as quiet a environment as possible during daily use.
4. Dare to discuss with others
The first few times when you talk with a hearing aid, make sure it’s done in a relaxed atmosphere. It is recommended to have one or two interlocutors only and to be in a quiet environment, without ambient noise such as a TV or the noise of appliances.
To better help you during your conversations, we give you some practical tips below that will also be useful in later situations where ambient noise is more important:
- Opt for an optimal listening position! Microphones in hearing aids are usually oriented forward. If the other person is behind or next to you, you will have a hard time understanding it. The ideal is then to position yourself well in front of him. It also allows you to better see the movements of your mouth.
- If you are taking part in a larger group conversation, ask the participants to behave well. If they speak clearly and without interrupting each other, it will help you a lot to understand the statements. Discussions sometimes evolve quickly. Do not be frustrated if at times you can no longer follow the conversation. Ask later if anyone can summarize what has been said.
- Be attentive to mimicry and gestures! If you pay close attention to the mouth movements your interlocutor makes, you can learn to translate these movements into words. Unconsciously, the brain already uses this technique to understand mumbled words. With a little training, you can train and use this faculty in a targeted way.