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Learning to hear again takes practice
Posted by Susan Brown Good, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology on May 01, 2019
Purchasing hearing aids for the first time starts an individual on a path of rehabilitation similar to other conditions that require the person to learn a set of skills in a new way.
Very commonly, a person with hearing loss has forgotten specific sounds both wanted (a loved one’s voice) and unwanted (noise) that an individual with normal hearing experiences every day. Aural rehabilitation assists them in becoming familiar with these sounds again, and educates them in what is normal and appropriate expectations in the use of their new hearing aids.
Prepare for brighter hearing
Most individuals seek help with hearing aids only after suffering with varying degrees of hearing loss for several years. People can often go 10 years before seeking help! During this time, a person “learns” to hear the world at a lower volume level.
We have all been in a dimly lit restaurant for lunch on a sunny day. When you leave the restaurant and walk into the sunlight, it can be overwhelmingly bright. You shade your eyes or search for your sunglasses. This occurs after only a few hours.
A similar sensation occurs when you use hearing aids for the first time. You may have not experienced the “brightness” of normal hearing for years, and can be overwhelmed by the “new hearing” you are experiencing with hearing aids.
This is where the importance of a qualified hearing professional comes into play. By helping you understand the rehabilitation process and helping you set appropriate expectations at different stages of your rehabilitation, your ability to adapt to your new hearing will be a smoother, more enjoyable experience for you.
Aural rehab can make all the difference
Adapting to your new hearing aids is usually not an overnight process. However, with patience, effort and guidance, appropriate expectations can be set and learning to hear again can be a wonderful experience that will change your life!