Getting hearing aids when you suffer from severe hearing loss can change your life overnight. However, there are several important facts you need to understand before getting fitted for one. These facts are crucial for understanding how your hearing aids work and what you will (and won't) get from them:
Crowd Noise Will Be More Difficult
If your hearing loss has eliminated much of your gregarious and social nature, you may be excited to start getting back to your favorite parties. Unfortunately, hearing aids can turn background noise into a jumble of indecipherable noise that makes communication impossible. However, there are ways of decreasing the impact of crowd noise:
- Wearing two hearing aids. This helps increase your speech perception by making it easier to pinpoint a sound's location.
- Digital signal processing hearing aids. These advanced hearing aids split sounds into speech and noise and decrease the volume of the latter. While imperfect, they are a step in the right direction.
- Directional microphones. Most hearing aids will have an option to switch on a directional microphone. This helps the listener direct the sound to a specific source, instead of trying to sort through the murk of omnidirectional sound.
- Auditory training. A training program that is designed to increase lipreading and fine listening skills by helping you fill in the blanks of what a person is saying and differentiating it from background noise.
Hearing at a Distance Will Be Hard
Hearing aids are designed to have an effective range of about 15 feet or so: anything beyond that will be much more difficult for it to pick up. As a result, you may end up struggling to hear conversations from across the room or in open areas. In this situation, long-distance hearing devices may be appropriate, but they shouldn't be used in conjunction with a hearing aid.
You may also wish to boost your lipreading skills to help deal with these difficult situations. For example, let's say you're in a field animal spotting with a friend. They spot a distant white tailed deer hiding in some trees and try to point it out to you. If you can read lips properly, you can fill in the blanks of what you can't hear from his mouth.
Dizziness May Be Possible
Some hearing aid patients have complained of dizziness that they believe was caused by their hearing aids. While you may write that off as unlikely, there's actually a real possibility that hearing aid output may cause dizziness and vertigo, especially for new users.
The problem is caused when the output of the hearing aid is too high: this will cause a stimulation of certain parts of your inner ear. Those stimulating vibrations can create a spinning "dizzy" feeling that may take several hours to go away. Thankfully, it is a problem that is easy enough to fix by visiting your ear doctor and having your hearing aid's output decreased.
These hearing aid facts shouldn't scare you away from getting them: instead, you should use them to get the most of out of these useful tools. If you experience any of these issues, talk to your doctor right away for a hearing aid adjustment. Contact a company such as Waters ENT Sinus & Allergy to learn more.