If you are a new hearing aid user or a long time wearer who received new hearing aids, it is strongly encouraged to keep a journal about what’s bothering you when you wear your hearing aids and what you think needs to be adjusted.
Notice whether there have been any improvements, and what difficulties you experience.
The Advantages of Recording Experiences with Hearing in a Journal
Anyone who has mild to moderate hearing loss struggles with similar problems. Usually, many voice concerns with understanding speech in busy areas. Hearing aids can help with speech comprehension and reduce the strains of hearing. The benefits of hearing aids can be overlooked by users, due to other hearing problems that they have. Writing in a daily journal can help determine the progress that you experienced since wearing hearing aids, and the difficulties that you still face. You can take into consideration what your expectations are, and then talk to your hearing aid provider to find out whether they are practical or not.
Our Experience with Hearing
Humans use a number of sensory stimuli (auditory, visual, taste, smell, and touch) in order to shape our experiences in certain environments. A hearing aid helps the auditory stimuli that someone with hearing loss would normally miss. Wearing a hearing aid can feel overwhelming for a new user. In many cases, new hearing aid users go years without getting help for their hearing loss. As a result, hearing sounds that haven’t been heard in years can feel overstimulating. It requires the brain to relearn and process these sounds and information. Therefore, it takes a lot of time and patience to adapt to hearing aids. This can be a different experience for each user.
Auditory stimuli can form positive or negative listening experiences. Positive experiences that relate to comfort, excitement, happiness, joy, and peacefulness. This can include music that you like, laughter, a friendly and familiar voice, and sounds of nature. Negative experiences like anger, frustration, or fear can be caused by hearing intense or discomforting sounds like screaming children, sirens, or sudden explosions. General noise is usually what bothers hearing aid users the most.
Bad experiences with hearing aids can drive users to stop using the devices all-together due to unfulfilled expectations. It’s best to try out your hearing aids in the real-world and ask for advice or adjustments as necessary from your hearing aid provider. These things will help to improve:
Keep a Hearing Journal
Record your daily experiences with hearing. For hearing aid users, it would be best to jot down what you are experiencing while wearing your hearing aids. Daily logs let hearing aid users record good and bad incidents. These will give you and your hearing aid provider useful understanding about your regular listening activities, the environments you frequent, partners, feelings, expectations, hearing aid usage and adjustments, and the benefits of hearing aids when used in those listening circumstances. Here are more helpful reasons to keep a hearing journal:
Most contemporary hearing aids keep track of how often you use the devices. Generally you will learn how long you wear your hearing aids each day, how frequently you use the volume control and your exposure to different listening environments. Your hearing aids will not record personal experiences you have on certain days, in one particular type of environment. This is why you should keep a journal.
Here are some topics to think about when writing in your journal:
It’s very important to record the good and the bad experiences. The only way to improve those negative experiences, is by recalling/reading over them and determining whether the expectations you have are realistic. Take into account whether you still need to adapt to those environmental sounds, if professional advice or support from loved ones can provide a better outcome, or if an adjustment to the device is the only resolution.
Whether you are a novice hearing aid user or a long time wearer, here are some additional tips for you.
Don’t wait any longer to get help. Bring your hearing journal with you to your hearing healthcare appointments. Have a discussion with your hearing care provider.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.