Getting Started with Hearing Aids
Your new listening experience will begin with a fitting appointment with the Audiologist. She will fit the hearing aids to your ears, ensure they are programmed appropriately and to your satisfaction and teach you how to care for your new hearing aids. When you leave the office, you will experience many sounds that you may not have heard for some time. Also, some sounds that you heard before may now sound different. Your own voice may even have a different quality.
At first you will notice all of these new and different sounds but over time you will not notice such a difference and things will begin to sound “normal” again. You will be scheduled to see the Audiologist for a follow-up appointment two weeks after being fit with your new hearing aids. If you have questions or concerns before that appointment, do not hesitate to call the office. If you need to be seen sooner than two weeks after your fitting, your appointment can easily be moved up.
At your follow up appointment, the Audiologist will ask you questions about your listening experiences. You should keep either mental or written notes about your experiences. The more detail you can provide at your follow-up appointment, the easier it will be for the Audiologist to make any necessary adjustments to your hearing aids. The following are some questions to keep in mind as you try your hearing aids.
- Have you been able to hear conversation better in the following situations:
- One on one conversations
- Conversations with noise in the background
- Group conversations
- Have any sounds made your ears uncomfortable?
- Have you heard speech more clearly?
- Does your own voice sound natural?
- Do other people’s voices sound natural?
Patience and Perseverance
Living with uncorrected hearing loss is very tiring because it takes more effort than usual to follow conversation. Add background noise or more people to the conversation and the ability of the hearing impaired person to follow the conversation is reduced again. This difficulty often leads the hearing impaired person to withdraw from situations where hearing conversation is difficult. By withdrawing, the hearing impaired person becomes very isolated from relationships and the quality of their life is reduced.
Thankfully, hearing aids have been proven to increase the quality of life of people with hearing loss. Sometimes it takes time to adjust to the new sounds of life but patience and perseverance are well worth the effort.