From excitement to amazement... a personal insight into what's different in the early days.
Sally has been deaf since she was two years old, although this wasn’t diagnosed until she was eight.
At the time, hearing aids weren’t any where near as evolved as they are today, and Sally describes her first experience as “horrendous,” refusing to wear them by the time she turned 12.
As design and functionality improved, Sally began wearing aids 15 years ago and just this year was fitted for a new pair with her bloom™ audiologist, Amanda.
Here Sally shares what it was like returning to a world of improved sound
What do you recall about your first day with hearing aids?
I remember everything was louder, I also remember hearing the birds for the first time! Everything felt quite tiring as you are hearing noises that you haven’t heard before.
What are the strongest memories you have of your first week with hearing aids?
At times feeling overwhelmed with the noise. Wanting to withdraw as the effort of suddenly hearing so many different sounds was tiring
Amazement at how many things make a noise that I didn’t realise. Sounds like birds, the indicator on the car, the light switch, crickets in the garden, music in shopping centres.
Suddenly you are dealing with all these noises, along with trying to focus on people talking to you.
Also feeling excited that I could actually hear a lot more than I ever have before. I remember talking to family and friends
and being amazed at how much I could hear.
What were some of the challenges you faced in the early days?
Being deliberate with how long I wore them and taking it slowly. Don’t expect to wear them all day, but build it up so you don’t give up
Just wearing something in your ear that you are not used to can be a challenge.
What didn’t you expect that happened in the first few weeks?
I don’t think I expected to become as reliant on them as quickly as I did! The thought of not having them is now is completely overwhelming.
I would be lost without my hearing aids and am if something goes wrong.
What advice would you have for others getting hearing aids for the first time?
Be patient and ask your family to offer support and encouragement
It’s also a good idea to to ask them if they can notice the difference with you wearing them, as sometimes we think we are not as deaf as we really are.
They’re often a better judge of whether hearing aids are making a difference.
Don’t give up, take it slowly and don’t hesitate to go back to your audiologist with questions and for adjustments.
In fact, be deliberate in communicating everything so that they can help you get the most out of your hearing aid.