Chirping birds and crunching veggies... a personal insight into what's different in the early days of wearing hearing aids.
As with any new experience, reading and research can prepare you for what to expect, however the best insight often comes when you experience it for yourself.
With that in mind, we spoke to Andrew, who was recently fitted for hearing aids by a bloom™ audiologist, to understand what the change meant for him.
How crisp the sound around me was, the crackle of paper, the sound of cutting vegetables. As I walked outside, I heard so much more bird life around me.
What are the strongest memories you have of your first week with hearing aids?
I remember not feeling as tired. When I had conversations in noisy environments such as a pub, shops, family get-togethers, I could actually have a conversation
Just being able to understand sounds all around, even whilst being in a conversation, stood out. I felt like I was participating more in the conversation.
I was surprised to find how much I missed wearing the aids when I wasn’t able to, for example when participating in water sports.
What were some of the challenges you faced in the early days?
I struggled to get the right ear canal plug for me. So initially, I found that they worked for a while, then when the speaker dislodged, I did have issues.
However with the right support, this was quickly resolved.
As I quickly forgot I was wearing aids, I had to keep reminding myself to take them out before going in the shower
What didn’t you expect that happened in the first few weeks?
Because these hearing aids adapt to the environment I’m in, I don’t have to adjust them as they do it all for me.
This was something I didn’t expect, along with forgetting they were in!
What advice would you have for others getting hearing aids for the first time?
Understand, challenge and accept your audiologist’s hearing loss results.
It really hit me with the word test and how many words I had not acknowledged correctly. It was very confronting when I didn’t even understand I had hearing loss.
Recognise that hearing loss isn’t just about you, my loss affects my relationships and the ability to communicate with others.
Finally, once you’re wearing your aids, be patient with yourself as this is a massive adjustment