Hi Folks, I am sure there are many with, trials, tears, frustrations, severely subdued expectations, and maybe even tribulations for first time hearing aid users… I know, I felt completely isolated 30 odd years ago with the onset of; Severe SSNHL, this was Pre-Internet days, and I became a virtual recluse, and the butt-end of everyone’s hilarity, and so-called banter… I hadn’t a clue, I didn’t know what to expect, what I got was a million miles from what I imagined! Any preconceived ideas were severely shattered, by what I can only describe as a wall of sound engulfing my brain with these analogue aids, I also had recruitment, although at the time, I was completely ignorant of what recruitment was… (Basically, recruitment is a very strong aversion to loud noise) With the high-power, BTE Analogue Aids, with 675 batteries, they were rather large, it took me at least 4 months to gradually build up, to be able to actually use the aids all day, at first, after an hour, I was drained, constantly straining to understand what was being said, to say that I was crest-fallen, is a severe understatement, constantly tired, I could hear the very loud sound, but the contextual information was missing… You are most fortunate if you have only ever known digital aids and started out with a severe/profound loss. So your stories please, it may help first time users to come to terms with their loss, and ultimately improve their wellbeing, and their mental health… The anguish I felt back then, particularly because I had no one to guide or mentor me, it still cuts deep, nobody told me hearing aids don’t restore your hearing, they help you to hear better, and as such they are assistive listening devices… And nothing more! Although, things have improved drastically, with the advent of digital hearing aids, and subsequently Bluetooth compatible devices, especially cell phones, I almost cried with joy when I first used my Phonak Marvels, and my iPhone, twas such a joy to hear folks voices on the phone again… Cheers Kev
It was originally my wife’s idea. I remember discussing it with friends at work and they were all in favor of it. I remember telling them how hesitant I was because hearing aids were for old people and I was in my 20s. Still they all encouraged me. I was forewarned by my audiologist that there was a breaking in period and that at first I should only wear them at home to get used to them. Eventually I wore them to work. Everything was going okay and we all headed up the stairs for the break room. Someone a flight up let out an ear piercing whistle that brought me down to my knees. I thought I was going to pass out. I’ve been wearing aids ever since.
Recalling those very early days of hearing aids, was for me, somewhat harrowing, I basically went from almost pitch perfect hearing, but, through a viral flu infection, I was traumatised into this frightened, ignorant, and reclusive individual, whom couldn’t hear you correctly anymore, my world was turned upside down……Gone forever, was the gregarious, outgoing, life and soul of the party type, on the outside I looked the same…… In my head, I was a damaged, and a very fragile individual, living in a fairly remote environment, with no one to relate to, or fundamentally communicate with, but even worse was my complete ignorance of my situation, I was totally oblivious to what hearing loss was, what it entailed, was there a solution, could anyone help me? I found out fairly quickly, I was on my own, most folks were as ignorant as me, even Doctors, and like me, they thought if you lose your hearing, hearing aids will correct the loss! Frustration, and depression kicked in eventually, but once you reach rock bottom, the only way is up…. Excepting your hearing loss, is the biggest gift you can bestow upon yourself, unfortunately it took me years to form that conclusion, I am a bit slow on the uptake As for the hearing aids, they were absolutely terrible, amplified mostly everything I didn’t want to hear, crunching snow underfoot, seagulls screaming, road traffic noise, background noise in busy pubs, were my pet hates, analogue hearing aids had very little adjustments, with the combination of recruitment, and severe tinnitus, I tried to avoid busy places, at times I became overwhelmed with noise, and just had to leave…… In comparison, digital aids are for me, night & day, in the early days of digital, they didn’t work well, but they improved gradually in tiny increments, and eventually Bluetooth enabled, this was the game changer! Over the years, there was worse for me to come with Meniers, but that’s a different story, I hopefully morphed into a more rounded individual, and a more empathetic person towards my fellow sufferers, the journey was not without some challenging personal outcomes…. But, we are all born survivors…. Cheers Kev
Hi. Apparently I’ve had hearing loss since birth but struggled thro school then eventually as young adult had hearing test and at great expense fitted with digital hearing aids of the time. Did I use? No. There was no volume adjustment and understanding conversation was better without them as had self taught the art of lip reading along with the bits I could hear. Also every footstep was like a crash of thunder. Moving on and courtesy of NHS I have a modern pair digital aids which are a world apart. I use mainly for tv or if really need concentrate. Of course they take some getting used to but the fact I can adjust the volume according to environment or just mute if all too much makes a huge difference. I’ve got BTE type with a tube and dome and not too bad as the original ones were similar but felt like I’d got clamp over my head. At first the new ones still made me feel like was on a different planet but in a short time I got used to how they felt. It always takes time to get used to something but for me these things have expanded enjoyment of life in way of general entertainment eg tv, listening to music etc. Also with modern aids there are all sorts gadgets to make life easier so ye I’d rather not need but modern digital aids are worth persevering with. I balked at the idea of using aids but now I would say am glad I have given them a chance. It’s never gonna be perfect but technology has leaped dramatically since the days of ear trumpet. Perish the thought. Also this forum is a good place to share concerns and ask others how they’ve coped with any difficulties trying to get adjusted or otherwise
I remember when I started wearing hearing aids. It was horrible, I didn’t realize the washer/dryer made noise or that my dog made sounds when he walked. I actually hated them at first and couldn’t wear them no more than 2 hours a day or my head would be pounding. It was horrible trying learn sounds and get use to them and felt so overwhelmed and grieved my hearing for awhile. Now I wear my hearing aids all the time and all day and feel lost without them.