Common Experiences of Hearing Aid Patients
All Sounds Seem Loud
You are re-entering a world of sounds you may not have heard for a long time. Expect things to seem loud at first. As your ears become accustomed to the amplified sounds, the noise level will appear more normal. The sounds should never be so loud they cause physical discomfort.
I Hear Speech But I Can’t Always Understand It
Hearing aids can help improve speech understanding but cannot restore that ability to normal levels. In some situations, especially when there is background noise, you may have difficulty understanding parts of what people say. Even people with normal hearing cannot always hear everything being said. Try to use your vision to supplement your hearing (speech reading) and place yourself in an optimal listening position to help your communication. Wearing two hearing aids may also improve your ability.
My Voice Sounds Different
Your voice is now being heard through an electronic instrument which is not the same as hearing it naturally. Most hearing aid users adjust to this difference in a matter of weeks. Give yourself time to adjust to the new sound.
The Hearing Aids Are Noisy When I’m Outside
When wind hits the microphone of the hearing aid, it can cause excessive noise. A wind screen placed over the microphone may help reduce the noise. Also, certain hearing aid styles, such as the completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids and open-fit hearing aids, offer reduced wind noise for persons with active outdoor lifestyles.
My Ears Feel Plugged When Wearing the Hearing Aids
It is not uncommon for patients to feel physically “plugged” with hearing aids in their ears. This feeling may gradually lessen as you adjust to wearing your hearing aids. If not, contact our office for possible modifications to reduce this discomfort. Open-fit hearing aids help reduce this feeling. Your audiologist can tell you whether this type of model is appropriate for you.
Restaurants Seem Too Noisy
In restaurants, request a booth instead of a table. Try to sit with your back to the wall so there is less noise behind you. If you have directional microphones, sit with your back facing the noise and use the directional microphone program to help reduce the noise behind you.