Saturday, January 22, 2011

Adjusting to a Noisy World

So despite what I previously wrote about slowly adjusting to hearing aids, and after talking with the audiologist, I pretty much jumped into wearing my hearing aids almost full-time. I do take a few hours to put them on in the morning, and I take a few breaks during the day as needed. I am happy with them so far, though some adjustments are needed at my follow up appointment next month. The aids have three settings-one for quiet environments like at home, one for noisy places-so far anytime I step outside, and a telecoil setting which is for using the phone. On the first day, right after I got the aids, I went to the pet store to pass the time until the bus came. I spent ten minutes listening to the birds with a big goofy grin on my face. I could hear birds before, but it was a muted sound. I was also amazed that from the back of the store I could hear both the bell on the door and the people talking at the registers, though I could not understand them. At home I am hearing things like the clock ticking, people talking outside, the cat eating or grooming, faint whining from Tetra when she wants something...the list goes on. The volume on my TV has been reduced in half, although I still need captions to understand speech. I had asked about my speech discrimination scores-eighty percent in my right ear, and sixty in my left. But I did not fully understand the implications of those percentages until I did some reading. These percentages are obtained using an optimal environment-soundproof box with the voice amplified to your specific loss. So basically these percentages do not reflect what I actually understand without my hearing aids, but rather what I can expect to understand in optimal, read QUIET, environment WITH my aids. Wow, no wonder I still struggle to understand people even with the aids.Very interesting and helpful information to me.

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