It’s been over three months now since I was fitted with my hearing aids and I have been wanting to write about how I have been doing with them for a while now.
In June, about six weeks after getting my hearing aids, I had an appointment to discuss how I have been getting on with them and to have the hearing aids fine-tuned. Something I didn’t know is that my hearing aids actually store information about how long I wear them and what kind of environments I wear them in (quiet or noisy?). With that information and the results from my hearing test they were able to fine tune them to match them to me and my lifestyle.
I was also able to address a problem I had had with them: when I talked or chewed (which would make my ear canal move slightly), the tube of the hearing aids would slowly come out of my ear canal a bit. Not completely but they would stick out a bit. The audiologist replaced the tubes with slightly bigger (longer) ones and since then, that problem has not re-occurred. It also reduced the soreness I got on top of my ears, from having the hearing aids sitting there, as they were less “tight” with the new tubes.
In the beginning, I also had some problems adjusting to some noises that are unpleasant such as the sound of clattering dishes. There were probably a few times I got mad at N. for making so much noise when he was putting away plates etc. I am not sure if I simply got used to it, but I also got the impression that when my hearing aids were fine tuned, background noise was tuned down a little. Since then I have no more problems with getting overwhelmed by loud or unpleasant noises.
Wearing my hearing aids has become pretty much normal. I don’t always wear them at home (much to N.’s annoyance who thinks everyone gets to benefit from them but he) but I always wear them at work and almost always when I am out (at the supermarket etc).
I still wear my hair down whenever I wear my hearing aids out, especially at work. I never told anyone at work about them and I am glad I didn’t. One thing less people can treat me differently for. I am starting my new job in a couple of weeks and I am not yet sure whether I will tell them about my hearing aids. Depending on the work I do, I may not get around it. I think I will cross that bridge when I get to it. I haven’t mentioned it so far simply because I wouldn’t explicitly mention that I wear contact lenses either. My hearing loss is not that bad and when I wear my hearing aids, it doesn’t affect my work at all.
I do feel like I am more confident and get more involved as I now understand (most) people much better and am much surer that what I heard is actually what was said.
When we were on our holiday a month ago, I was very open about my hearing aids in that I wore my hair back a lot. It was quite warm so I didn’t want to be miserable and sweaty just so no one would see my hearing aids. Knowing that I would never see these people again really helped me be confident enough not to care if people did see them.
And then something strange happened… Nothing. I did not notice anyone treating me any different or looking at me weird. Of course it is also possible that many people didn’t even notice them as you cannot really see them when you’re facing me. But still, I was quite surprised at the lack of any sort of reactions. Positively surprised of course.
Nowadays, especially after wearing my hearing aids all day, it feels weird when I don’t wear them. Especially for a few minutes after taking them out, it almost feels like I have cotton wool stuffed in my ears. Human voices sound normal, there is no longer that unnatural sound to it, like they are using a microphone. My mind is blown by how quickly the human brain adjusts to these kind of things.
All in all, I am extremely impressed with what a difference they make. I still prefer wearing my hair down and hiding them, but I wouldn’t want to be without my hearing aids anymore, especially at work or in social situations. They have really improved my life and given me a confidence boost that I didn’t even know I had been missing for a while.
You can read my previous posts about wearing hearing aids here.