What Every New Hearing Aid User Should Know:
Every day I am blessed with the ability to help the people of Austin and the surrounding areas rejoin their families and lives by helping them hear again. This may sound routine and mundane, but it is not. It is estimated that a person will make the decision to seek help for a significant hearing loss 7 years after it is first noted or is diagnosed as an aidable condition. After years of living and coping with hearing loss, your brain may freak out over some "normal, every day" sounds."
I remember vividly the first day I put on my hearing aids. In fact, #10 is the one that hits very close to home for me.
Here are the Top 10 things you need to be aware of after you leave my office with new hearing aids:
- Your Clothes rustle when you move, kinda like a grocery bag
- Your voice is going to sound different, louder kinda "boomy"
- Birds chirp, probably a lot more than you remember
- Your stomach growls... a lot
- There will be a sound if you scratch your head or touch your hair
- The refrigerator and icemaker may sound like someone breaking into your home. And for that matter the air conditioner might sound the same.
- Footsteps make a noise, if you have hardwood be prepared
- Chewing food, notably cereal and ice, is loud. Breaking teeth loud.
- Running water in the sink will seem LOUD
- Flushing a toilet sounds like your roof is being torn off!!
There are others of course, everything from the kitchen timer sounds different to the sound a car makes when you lock it not being what you are used to. The key thing to remember is:
Everything mentioned above is temporary, I can not stress that enough.
You have spent years acumulating your hearing loss, it will take a few weeks for your brain to accept that there is a new signal and that you aren't in danger from being eaten by a bear. Be kind to yourself, know that you will need to identify some sounds in your environment and that this is a learning process for you and your brain.
Paige Peterson AuD, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA, ABA
Dr. Paige Peterson is the Director of Hearing & Balance at the Hearing & Balance Center of Austin in Austin, TX and specializes in hearing related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders. Dr. Peterson is Board Certified in Audiology and is currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin is the hearing and balance division of Great Hills ENT and serves the greater Austin area including the Arboretum, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.