Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

LEARNING TO HEAR AGAIN

LATEST NEWS

19-09-2011

Dr. Khirod Chandra Panda Received National Award From Her Excellency Pratibha Debisingh Patil on 2009Read More...

Hearing instruments can make a very positive difference to your life. However, they are not like glasses, which restore your vision the moment you put them on. Initially, certain sounds might seem rather loud – even strange. This is because the brain forgets what it was like to be able to hear those sounds, and it has to learn how to process them again.

You will hear voices and sounds that you may not have heard for a long time. First, your brain has to identify these sounds. Then it has to relearn to focus on the ones that are important and filter out the rest. As you regain the ability to master this task, you will discover that the more you use your instruments, the less you will want to be without them!

Train your brain
Because the brain registers so many new sounds, the initial adjustment period can be quite tiring. It is a bit like training a muscle that has not been used for a long time. What a difference it makes when you regain that lost strength!

After wearing your instruments for a couple of weeks, you may need an appointment with your hearing care professional for adjustments. Once these have been made you will be able to practice much more and get the very best out of them on a daily basis.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN GETTING STARTED
At first, everything may seem too loud. This is normal and has nothing to do with the volume being set too high. The best approach is to wear your instruments for as long as possible during the first few days in the quiet of your home, and avoid noisy situations until your brain has had time to adjust.

Keep things simple at first
If you have program buttons and volume controls, wait until you are more experienced before experimenting with them. Rely on the fully automatic hearing instrument to keep things comfortable.

A little later
When you feel ready to try out the various listening programs, you will get even more out of wearing your instruments.

Good tips for a gentle start:
• Start by wearing your instruments for the most of the day.
• Use them in quiet situations, and in one-on-one conversations in your living room.
• Listen to the radio or television.
• Use them in noisier environments such as a busy road and your local supermarket.
• Use the telephone.
• Finally, use them with friends or family at home and at your favourite restaurant. This is likely to be the most challenging scenario. At first you may not be able to hear everything that people are saying, but withy time this gets easier.


YOUR INITIAL EXPERIENCES

THINGS THAT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU
Knowing what to expect is the first step to being happy with your instruments. The more severe your hearing loss is, the more likely you are to be overwhelmed by all the new sounds, and their apparent volume. But the more open and natural-sounding your instrument is – for example a RITE (Receiver-in-the –Ear) style with an open connection to the ear – the easier you will find the adaptation process.


BE PREPARED FOR NEW EXPERIENCES
Things might sound strange at first, but with time you will get used to your new way of hearing. Here are some examples of what to expect;

• Your alarm clock, doorbell or phone ringing might make you jump the first time you hear them.
• Flushing your toilet might sound like Niagara Falls!
• Hearing yourself chewing will sound strange at first.
• Your refrigerator will hum more loudly!
• The crinkle of newspaper pages being turned will sound sharper.
• Your car will sound different now that you can hear the engine clearly.
• Traffic noise will sound louder.


SOUNDS YOU MIGHT ENJOY REDISCOVERING
• Birds singing.
• The echo of your own footsteps.
• Children laughing
• The sound of stringed instruments.
• Rustling of leaves on trees.
• Rain against your window.

THE ADVANTAGES OF KEEPING A DIARY
Adapting the hearing instruments may involve a certain amount of adjustments. This usually happens over a couple of sessions, after you have tried the instruments out in different environments. We recommend keeping a diary to note down your experiences after you have had time to acclimatize.

LOUDNESS
Listen to everyday sounds in both noisy and quiet conditions. Listen to soft wounds, like leaves rustling or people talking at a distance. Listen to loud or sudden loud sounds, such as a door slamming, toilet flushing, children crying or live music. Make notes on the loudness – is it acceptable?

CHANGES IN YOUR SOUND ENVIRONMENT
Observe typical changes in your sound environment, such as entering a shop from a noisy street or a person addressing you in a crowd. Make notes on how well your instruments adjust to your environment.

SOUND QUALITY
Listen to high-pitched sounds (e.g., violins, birdsong and children's voices) and low pitched sounds (e.g., male voices or a bass guitar). Try to describe the quality of each sound so that adjustments can be made if necessary.