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Getting Used to Hearing Aids ó Find the One Thatís Right for You

By Janie Rosman

(Page 2 of 2)

Taylor (2007), cited by the American Academy of Audiology, concluded ď . . . the average length of time a patient may require to become accustomed to their hearing aids, regardless of user history, is approximately 30 days."

Tremblay and Moore (2012) reported that people who donít do well with hearing aids (and/or cochlear implants) may have auditory systems that are "less plastic" (less capable of representing new acoustic cues).

Who hasnít wanted to filter out background noises when youíre talking with someone in a crowded room? Optional features like a directional microphone, which amplifies sound from a specific direction, can assist the person with hearing difficulty. When activated and pointed at the person youíre speaking with, for example, that sound will be amplified more loudly than the sound from another direction (behind you).

A T-coil (telephone switch) lets the person switch from the normal microphone setting to a "T-coil" setting in order to hear better on the telephone. While all wired telephones made today must be hearing-aid compatible, the "T-coil" eliminates environmental sounds (a bird chirping or a car driving by). Sounds are picked up by the telephone; additionally, this aid turns off oneís hearing aid microphone to prevent it from whistling. If a speaker is far away, like at a lecture, that sound will be amplified to a greater degree than background sounds.

Most are familiar with direct audio input, whereby a remote microphone or assistive listening system connects to a television or other device, like a tape player or radio. Squeals occur when the hearing aid gets too close to the telephone or has a loose-fitting ear mold.

Hear-it.org, established to increase public awareness of hearing impairment, says while hearing aids donít restore lost hearing, they do help the user hear ó conversations and sounds perhaps not heard in a while like water running, birds singing, wind blowing ó better, and improve his or her social, psychological and physical sense of well-being.

Some benefits include:

  • Improved communication with family and caregiver

  • Improved self-esteem, feeling tired less often

  • Feel better about yourself, feeling less tired

  • Improved mental health and concentration

  • Promote independence and security

  • Ability to increase participation in social gatherings and increase social contacts

Complex features on a basic hearing device can meet the personís hearing loss needs, and in certain situations, may be more costly. Itís advisable for each person to check with his or her doctor about the hearing aid and features best for his or her needs.

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