It takes time to adjust to a new hearing instrument. How long this adjustment takes differs from person to person. It will depend on a number of factors, such as whether you have had a hearing instrument before and the degree of your hearing loss.
1. In the quiet of your home
Try to accustom yourself to all the new sounds you may hear. Listen to the many background sounds and try to identify each sound. Some sounds will seem different from what you are used to. You may have to learn to identify them again. Note that in time you will become accustomed to the sounds in your environment.
If using the hearing instruments makes you tired, take them off for a little while and have a break. Gradually, you will begin to be able to listen for longer periods of time. Soon, you will be able to wear your hearing instrument comfortably all day long.
2. Conversation with another person
Sit with someone else in a quiet room. Face each other so you can read facial expressions easily. You may experience new speech sounds, which may sound different at first. After your brain adapts to these new speech sounds, you should hear speech more clearly.
3. Listen to radio or TV
When listening to the TV or the radio, start out by listening to news commentators since they usually speak clearly. Then try other programs. If you find it difficult to listen to TV or radio, Dr. Kirsch will be able to give you advice on available accessories to enhance your listening capabilities for TV and radio.
4. In group conversations
Group situations are usually accompanied by a greater degree of background noise, which can make them more difficult to cope with. In such situations, focus your attention on the person you want to hear and turn your back against the noise. If you miss a word, ask the speaker to repeat.
5. Telecoil use in church, theater or cinema
An increasing number of churches, theaters and public buildings often have loop systems installed. These systems send out wireless sound to be received by the telecoil in your hearing instrument. Typically, a sign will let you know whether the place has a telecoil. Ask Dr. Kirsch for details.
6. Using a telephone
When using the telephone, tilt the receiver edge lightly on your cheekbone and position the phone slightly over the ear close to the hearing instrument’s microphone. The sound then flows directly into the hearing instrument’s microphone opening. This will prevent the hearing instrument from whistling and ensure the best conditions to understand the conversation. When you have the receiver in this position, remember to speak directly into the mouthpiece on the telephone in order to ensure good understanding on the other end of the line.
Some hearing instruments have a telecoil built in. If your telephone has a built in tele-loop, you can switch into the telecoil program in order to improve the sound reception further.
Remember that the telecoil in your hearing instrument may pick up disturbing signals from electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, TVs, etc. Make sure that the hearing instrument has a distance of 2-3 meters from these devices when using the telecoil program.
7. Wireless and mobile phones
Your hearing instrument is designed to comply with the most stringent Standards of International Electromagnetic Compatibility. However, not all cell phones are hearing instrument compatible. The varying degree of disturbance can be due to the nature of your particular cell phone.
If you find it difficult to obtain a good result while using your cell phone, Dr. Kirsch will be able to give you advice on available accessories to enhance listening capabilities.