To be successful with your new hearing instruments will take a partnership between you, the patient, and the hearing healthcare practitioner, your dispenser. As with any rehabilitation, everyone comes along at a different speed.
Much like when some one has a knee replacement, there is a rehabilitative process. First you must let the knee heal for a while and slowly build up the movement. You must work through the pain to gain the motion back. We can assure you the rehabilitation process of learning to hear again will be easier! The key to this success is to listen to what the dispenser is telling you and wearing the instruments on a daily basis, making them part of your life.
You must understand that you were not born knowing the sounds of the world. You heard your first sounds when you were still in the womb. Your parent’s voices and sibling’s voices were the first sounds you heard. From the moment you took your first breath of air, your brain began to hear the sounds of the world… your extended family, the birds, the wind, the leaves rustling, your dog bark, the creaky staircase, the tires on the road and other peoples voices.
Each of these sounds was stored into your memory and, over time, when you heard a certain sound, you began to recognize them. By the time you went to pre-school or kindergarten, you had been exposed to many different voices. When you arrived you were able to communicate with your fellow students.
Although each one of us may speak the same language we all have a different pitch to our voice, a different cadence and the way we weigh our speech sounds. An example of this would be to travel to Boston (not picking on the Bostonians here) and make a wrong turn and get lost. Stop and ask a native Bostonian directions. I can guarantee you that you will not understand much of what they say but if you were to spend 30 minutes talking to them, you would begin to understand every word.
That is your brain adjusting to different voices. Just as we had to learn to hear - as we begin to lose our hearing, our brain begins to forget sounds of speech. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes many years. That is why most people wait 7 to 10 years to take the initial step to get help.
If you are like most patients we see, you suffer from a sensorineural hearing loss and generally the only option you have is to use hearing instruments faithfully, on a daily basis. Clinical studies have shown that successfully wearing hearing instruments on a daily basis for 12 to 18 months can put this broken down system back to work in a somewhat normal fashion. You must remember that every one is different and based on how much hearing has been lost and how long you have been impaired will dictate how quickly you adapt.
If you decide to get help for your hearing, you must remain patient and place your trust in your hearing health care practitioner and you will succeed.
At Action Ear of New Hartford, we have worked with thousands of patients and counseled them to success. We have always believed that 50% of success comes from having a positive attitude and the commitment to hear better. We will do the rest.