Every process begins with a decision.
The key to success with hearing aids is: that you have decided for yourself that you are ready to get help with your hearing.
Have you observed or decided some or all of these:
- you’ve have noticed that your hearing is influencing the way you live your life
- it is time to improve your communication
- you would like to improve your relationships with family, friends and work colleagues
And that you want to do it for you – not to please someone else.
When would it not be YOUR decision to get hearing aids?
- Sometimes well-intentioned family members influence people to get hearing aids
- you may be influenced by a professional – based on the level of hearing loss (audiogram)
- Because you “should” even though you are not quite ready in yourself
Why do you need to make this decision for yourself?
Over the years that your hearing has been gradually changing, so has your brain. The hearing part of your brain has been receiving less sound input, so it has had less information to process. It has forgotten what to do, as it hasn’t had to work so hard. Other parts of your brain have been working harder to try and keep up with the conversation. You need to use context and visual cues to work out what is being said. This can cause auditory fatigue or tiredness at the end of the day.
Luckily, once we provide that missing sound to your hearing system with hearing aids, your brain can begin to use the information again. Brain plasticity means you can relearn and rewire. Just like when we start on a new exercise program; when we get hearing aids, we need to start slowly and rebuild our “hearing muscles”. As long as it hasn’t been too long and your hearing loss is not too severe, your brain plasticity will mean you will relearn to process the sounds you have been missing and usually, we can get most of your hearing functionality back.
It can be hard work at the beginning as you adjust to hearing again.
Luckily, hearing aids now have an excellent sound quality, and you will adjust very quickly as long as you wear them all the time and get used to hearing again. Within half an hour, sounds that seemed strange or new when you first put on the hearing aids will begin to normalise.
The key to real success with hearing aids is continual use. You must be ready in yourself to get hearing aids, so you embrace the process for maximum benefit. We want to create a new normal – Normal to hear.
To create a new normal, we are going to ask you to wear your hearing aids as much as you can, from the time you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night. At first, you may find it tiring. Your brain will have to work hard to process the extra sound that it had forgotten about over the last few years. By the end of the first two weeks, you should be at the point where you can wear your hearing aids all day every day. By the time you finalise your hearing aids, it will feel normal for you to hear.
Helping you adjust – moving from comfort to clarity
Usually, we begin the hearing aid fitting process by working out how much sound you require to compensate for your hearing loss, then turning the hearing aids down. The goal at the first fitting is to get the sound comfortable. We want you to wear the hearing aids as much as possible, giving your brain time to adjust to the new sounds. We then gradually turn the sound up over time. This process gives your brain time to adapt and change, keeping sound comfortable at the start and increasing the clarity over time.
You must decide that you need hearing aids for yourself. Once you have chosen to improve your hearing, there will be a short adaption process to go through as you adjust to hearing again.
Being ready and in a positive mindset, helps this process run smoothly.
You are about to start on a hearing adventure.
What will help you get to the point of readiness for hearing aids?
When you come along for your hearing assessment appointment, we will talk to you about your hearing loss and how it is affecting your life. We will present options to help with your hearing (if required). After this appointment, you will have time to think about and notice those effects as they happen in your everyday life.
You will know when you are ready to take action. You will be ready to:
- hear accurately – the first time – not have to ask for repeats
- get involved in conversations – rather than quietly sitting back, so you do not feel embarrassed in case you miss something
- feel more relaxed – as you will hear the doorbell, the phone ring and the person walking up from behind
- be more confident – as you are sure you are responding correctly
- communicate easier in your close relationships – because you hear the first time – correctly
Ready Now? Follow this link to book your appointment.
Once you have decided to get hearing aids, please give us a call and we will make you an appointment.
Or read on to the next article to find out more about the process of getting hearing aids.
A bit about Auckland Hearing
Auckland Hearing is an independent hearing aid and audiology clinic set up by Maree O’Sullivan. Maree
has worked in Audiology for nearly 25 years. She started Auckland Hearing so she could focus on the needs of each client (rather than corporate profits).