If you’ve taken the first step toward better hearing by investing in hearing devices, you deserve to be congratulated. But satisfaction is not guaranteed by a simple purchase. You have a responsibility to develop good communication habits designed to maximize the benefits you receive from wearing hearing devices.
Hearing is not passive. To understand and communicate effectively, you must learn to be a good listener and to control your environment to help compensate for your hearing loss … even while wearing hearing devices. To maximize the benefit you receive from your hearing devices:
- Commit to wearing your hearing devices. You must become accustomed to hearing sounds you may not have heard for a long time. You may initially find certain sounds irritating but in time your brain will adjust and they’ll become normal. Do not stop wearing your hearing devices during this adjustment period. Be patient and focus on the commitment you have made to your hearing health.
- Show off your hearing devices. Inform others you are wearing hearing devices. Give them guidance to allow you to communicate effectively. You must face the listener when you talk, tell him or her to speak louder or move the conversation to another room if the environment is too noisy.
- Control your environment. If you know you are going to be in a situation where background noise will interfere with your ability to communicate effectively, formulate a plan. For example, if you plan on dining with friends, look at a restaurant’s menu online beforehand and decide what you want, eliminating your need to ask the server to repeat menu choices. Arrive early to find seating away from sources of background noise.
- Make eye contact. You will discover communication improves when you can evaluate and interpret body language and facial expressions.
- Practice your listening skills. Listen to the radio or audio books.There is even auditory rehabilitative software you can buy for your computer to practice listening with background noise.
- Be patient. In time, listening with hearing devices will become second nature and you will be rewarded with the joy of hearing all the sounds of life.