You belong to the 15 to 20 million people in Germany who are struggling with hearing problems? You have decided to remove them with a hearing aid? But especially people who wear a hearing aid for the first time have a hard time getting used to it. We have summarized practical tips for you that can help you to handle your hearing aid.
Why many shun a hearing aid
Only about one in five sufferers can compensate for their hearing loss with a hearing system - even though the hearing loss does not improve without help but steadily worsens.
There can be several reasons for this:
- aesthetic objections
- the fear of not getting along with the technology
- Concern, if the device brings anything
- upcoming costs
Constant deterioration of hearing performance
Many sufferers only take medical help after years, because the creeping process of hearing loss is often perceived only at an advanced stage.
Against the fear that the care and the handling of the hearing system are too complicated, something can be done: specialists such as hearing care professionals like to advise you and show you the various types of equipment.
This is how you get used to your hearing aid
Your hearing aid is not just a technically sophisticated product, but a tailor-made item for your ear. Nevertheless, it will not always come close to natural hearing. Especially at the beginning most people need some time to get used to the device.
This is partly due to the handling - the devices usually offer different settings in order to optimally adapt to different environmental or conversation situations. This can be a bit confusing at first.
To learn the filter function again
Another reason is that in the months of deafness, the brain has forgotten how to deal with a normal background noise. As it gets far fewer stimuli than before, it gradually forgets how soft sounds like birdsong or hissing leaves sound and how it applies its filtering function.
In the case of normal hearing, this serves to hide the unimportant in the incoming stimuli. If the brain is now exposed to a nearly normal noise level again by a hearing aid, it feels that it is loud and disturbing.
Therefore, give your brain time to do its job again. It may take a few weeks for you to get used to the new listening experience.
Tips on how to bridge the familiarization period
Here are 11 tips that make your everyday life easier with your hearing aid.
- Talk to your ENT specialist and the hearing system specialist. In general, you can subject the new device to field tests in everyday life so that its profile can be tailored exactly to your needs. Let yourself explain the insertion, the handling and care exactly - also several times.
- Wear your new device as often as possible - the faster you'll get used to it.
- At the beginning, sit in rather quiet situations where few people speak at the same time and there are no loud or numerous background noises. In a busy pub, where music is booming, you are overburdening your brain.
- Keep the noise level low in your everyday life: Use low-noise electrical equipment, block the street noise, do not leave the radio, TV and dishwasher running in the background (or even simultaneously).
- Look at your conversation partner on the lips, pay attention to his facial expressions and gestures. So you can train to bring what you hear into harmony with lip movements. Ask your friends and colleagues to approach you from the beginning and make themselves known in advance.
- If your hearing loss has been persisting for some time, your ability to speak may have already suffered (too loud, slurred voice). Ask your doctor if it makes sense for you to improve your perception of this disorder.
Cleaning and care of the hearing aid
Hearing aids are robust and designed for everyday use. Nevertheless, you should pay attention to a few points in the care to increase their lifespan:
- Clean the hearing aid daily - the device itself with a dry cloth, the earmold overnight with cleaning fluid. Special products are available from a hearing care professional. He also explains the differences in the care of different hearing systems.
- Avoid exposing the device to moisture (showering, swimming, rain). Store overnight in a "dry bag" (this removes moisture).
- Do not drop it and do not expose it to high heat (blazing sun, heating air), heavy dirt or hair spray or powder.
- Use a case for storage and transportation and keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
- For the holidays: Have the function of the device checked beforehand and think of care products and replacement batteries.