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8 surprising sounds you'll notice with your new hearing aids

8 Surprising Sounds You'll Notice with Your New Hearing Aids

Published: 18-01-2017
Last Updated: 08-05-2019

Who would've thought that chewing on apple was so noisy?
For many of us, our hearing has gradually declined for some time before we get fitted for a hearing aid.

During the intervening years, we’ve slowly adapted to not being acutely aware of many of the everyday sounds around us – from the dinging of trams to humming of a refrigerator.

As our audiologist flicks our hearing aids on for the first time, it can be quite a surprise (and shock) to realise and remember many of the sounds we’re now tuning back into.

Given you haven’t heard these sounds for a long time, it is very possible that you have lost the ability to ignore them.

We need to train your brain to get used to these sounds again – and the best way to do this is by wearing your hearing aids regularly.

The sound of your hair


Brushing your hair, pulling it back into a pony, drying it with a towel or running product through it presents a swishing sound we may not be used to.

Believe it or not, our hair makes a sound. If you have long hair and you keep it behind your ears, you may be more aware of your hearing aid now as you brush past it.

This comes from your microphone being rubbed against the hair. This is a great way to test that your hearing aid is working too.

The movement of our clothes


Swishing fabrics, clicking heels, crinkly corduroy… there’s a lot of sounds that come from our own clothing and shoes that we may have forgotten about.

Take your time to slowly adjust to being aware of your clothing and your own footsteps – and maybe save that noisy water-repellent rain jacket for month two!

Road traffic


With your new hearing aids in place, you may be surprised to find how loud cars, trucks, trams and trains appear in the distance.

Chances are you may not have been hearing these for sometime and have tuned out to being aware of them.

While they may seem distracting at first, you will gradually become accustomed to them as you get used to your new world of sound.

Ticking clocks


In a quiet room, a ticking clock is one of those sounds that you don’t notice at first, but once you do it’s all you can hear.

Similarly, once you fit your hearing aids, household sounds like ticking clocks can seem insanely distracting.

Similar to that pesky traffic noise, it’s a sound that you will get used to over time and stop being as bothered by.

Eating


Who’d have thought biting, chewing and swallowing could be so ear-deafeningly loud? For many new hearing aid wearers, this is one of the most surprising sounds to get used to.

It can be exaggerated because you’ve stopped hearing these sounds as your hearing has worsened, as well as something known as the occlusion effect, where the plastic of the hearing aid blocks the ear canal and changes how we perceive sound.

Wind


Wind noise can be bothersome for some hearing aid wearers, interfering with the microphone and causing an irritating sound. Some users find having slightly longer hair over their ears helps, along with wearing a hat.

Fortunately, modern hearing aid technology is much better at dealing with wind noise than it once was, however it may take some experimenting and getting used to for your own situation.

Your voice


Similar to sounds of eating, the occlusion effect can make our voice sound quite different when wearing a hearing aid. It can make it sound very loud, or as if you’re speaking into a small barrel.

The strangeness should resolve itself over time, however chat to your audiologist if you’re still concerned. Reading aloud can be a great way to get used to your voice more quickly.

Appliances in the house


From the hum of a refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner or dishwasher, our household appliances produce lots of sounds that may seem distracting and overwhelming at first.

Sit in a quiet room when you first wear your hearing aids at home, and just observe and make a list of the sounds you detect. Chances are over time when you refer back to your list, you’ll find those sounds don’t bother you anymore.