With a hearing aid, sounds you have forgotten or heard only softly will sound quite loud e.g. traffic noise, footsteps, rustling of paper; even your own voice may sound unnaturally loud to you when you first wear the aid.
Gradual progression is the key to success. On the first day, you may wear the hearing aid for one hour and on the second day for two hours and so on. Make sure you work up gradually from easy listening situations (conversation with one person in a relatively quiet room) to more difficult listening conditions (conversation in group) and finally to party noise situations where background noise is quite high.
The first week
In the first week after being fitted with your new aid,
- Listen to all sounds you can hear at home
- Listen to your own voice
- Have a conversation with your family members
- Turn on the TV or radio
Repeat all of the above a few times a day.
The Second Week
- Try a meeting or church and make sure you sit towards the centre front
- Try the telephone and make sure you hold the earpiece properly
- Try a party noise situation
If you now wear the aid consistently every day, you will be so used to it that it becomes a part of you and coping with background noise will be much easier.
Remember, your hearing aid is an aid to hearing. It will not bring your hearing back to normal since you are still using the same damaged auditory system. In some difficult listening situations, some guesswork still continues to play a part and watching the speaker’s faces definitely helps to improve your speech discrimination ability.