Are hearing aids supposed to sound like a microphone/speaker?

I developed sensorineural hearing loss due to exposure to very loud music in my teens and early twenties though headphones mainly, people next to me would be shocked of how loud my music is. I did this for 13 years and I’m now 27 and I’m suffering the consequences. My grandma also has hearing loss so I suppose there’s some heredity factor and I was already susceptible to it, although none of my 5 siblings developed hearing loss.

Now I have moderate to severe hearing loss and I live my day to day life without hearing aid which is very difficult and often embarrassing. It’s especially hard nowadays with everyone wearing masks and not being able to read their lips. I surrendered a year or two ago and had my first hearing aid. I never wore it after the day I tested it because it basically sounded like I was hearing though a speaker… or microphone. It’s hard to explain but it was weird. You know when you’re in middle school or high school and someone was talking with a microphone in the stadium? That’s what it sounded like. I don’t know if that’s normal, but I thought they’d be like glasses. You put them on and you hear clearly, no big deal.

Anyway, since I’m having more problems these days I decided to take advantage of this year’s insurance (since my insurance covers one pair of $1600 hearing aid a year). I thought why not. Might as well have it around just in case. Plus I’m more comfortable with the idea of wearing it now. I told the person who did my hearing test my problem with my previous hearing aid, he said it shouldn’t feel this way, and when you go again to the center who will make he hearing aid for you ask them to adjust the old and new one well. He said it’s probably a problem with adjustment.

What do you guys think? I know that hearing and wearing hearing aids are subjective experiences that are hard to convey, but how “normal” do hearing aid feel like? As I said I’ve worn glasses before and they really were not that big of a deal. Do you think some adjustment will make the sound more natural? How do I know when the adjustment is “right” when I have no prior experience or reference point?

By the way, as you can tell English is not my first language. Sorry if this was hard to read.

Welcome to the forum.
27 is young, too young to not hear what’s going on around you. It is good you are here to learn about your hearing loss and about hearing aids.
You mentioned one aid. Do you have only one ear with hearing loss?
Sharing your audiogram would help us help you.

Yes, it’s supposed to sound like that because a hearing aid is a microphone over your ear with the speaker inside your ear canal. Yes, it’s supposed to sound in that way, you will not notice it after some days/weeks using it. The fitting can be done gradually until you get comfortable. I find some brands (or maybe fitting) have clearer sound, wich appear more natural to me. Try different brands, take the tests.

Everyone needs time to adjust. There are many stories of people who stop using hearing aids soon after getting them because it sounds weird at first. It’s also true that a lot depends on whoever is adjusting your hearing aids–some audiologists or specialists are better at it than others, like any skill.

If you are experiencing an especially tinny sound (or any unsatisfactory sound) work with your specialist to get a better adjustment. The common saying in my circles is that hearing aids will not restore hearing to the previous, pre-damaged state–but can typically improve things significantly.

The need to let your brain adjust to hearing aids is so significant that if I go long periods without talking with someone–I live alone and during the pandemic, am isolated even more than usual–I sound a little weird to myself even though I’ve been on aids for well over a year now. But that passes.

Give it time, and work with your specialist. And good luck!

2 Likes

Well everyone hears differently out of hearing aids. Which is why I’m a big advocate of a trial period. It just could be a a matter of you getting used to the new aids which is normal. Or it could be that the aids themselves need further adjustment. Keep notes so when you see your audiologist again you can be specific regarding your complaints

“By the way, as you can tell English is not my first language. Sorry if this was hard to understand.”

You did just fine. I thought your English was perfect. It is too bad that we cannot warn these kids about damage to their hearing. I have a time or 2 warned my kids but not often enough I guess. Since when does a teenager listen to an adult anyway?

I too listen to loud music, louder the better, even slept with headphones on a night. My wife said I need to go around to high school’s and speak about the importance of taking care of your hearing but I’m not the speaker type. Someone needs to get the word out to young people, if they would listen, not sure I would have.

1 Like