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 and that hearing aids are the best option for you.
It is important that you have observed or decided some or all of these:
- you have noticed that your hearing is influencing the way you live your life
- you would like 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 I need to make this decision for myself?
Over all the years that your hearing has been gradually changing, so has your brain. The auditory part of your brain has been receiving less sound input, so it has had less information to process. In the “use it or loose it” way that our bodies work – the auditory processing part of your brain has been forgetting what to do as it hasn’t had to work so hard (other cognitive parts of your brain have been working harder to try and keep up with conversation, often causing auditory fatigue).
Luckily, once we provide that missing sound to your auditory system it can begin to use the information again and as long as it hasn’t been too long and your hearing loss is not too severe. Usually, we can get most of that functionality back. 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”. And like a new exercise program –
It can be hard work at the beginning
as you give yourself time to adjust to hearing again
Luckily, hearing aids now are of such high quality that you will adjust very quickly. 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. A big reason that it is crucial that you are ready in yourself to get hearing aids is that we are going to …
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. At first, you may find it tiring, as your brain has 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-week trial period, 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 (decide you want to keep them), 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 intentionally turn it down to keep the sound comfortable and acceptable. The goal at the first fitting is to get the sound comfortable, so that you can wear the hearing aids as much as possible, giving your brain time to adjust to the new sound. We then gradually turn the sound up over time. This gives your brain time to adjust to the sound, keeping it comfortable at the start and increasing the clarity over time.
It is vital that you decide that you need hearing aids for yourself – because 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 me 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, how it is affecting your life and your 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
- be involved in the 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
- feel more confident – as you are sure you are responding correctly
- have easier communication 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, I’m sure you will have many questions about the process and what might be the best options for you. If you have questions about getting used to hearing aids or the adaptation process, please call (09 525-0522) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and make a time to meet.
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 and started Auckland Hearing so she could focus on the needs of each client (rather than corporate profits).