Two Tips To Help You Adjust To Wearing A Hearing Aid In Crowded Situations
Getting a new hearing aid is a big step in the right direction towards helping you reconnect with the world. One in six Australians have some type of hearing loss, and the key, once you do get fitted with a hearing aid, is to make sure that wearing it is a comfortable experience, not an overwhelming one. Too often, new hearing aid wearers find that the sudden increase in volume is so overpowering that it is easier to switch the hearing aid off and put it back in the drawer. These two tips will help you to get used to wearing your new hearing aid in crowded situations so you can take advantage of this big step.
Limit Background Noise
While hearing aid technology continues to develop, more strides are being made in producing hearing aids that can filter some of the background noise going on around you. It is very alarming when you have lived in a quiet world for so long to suddenly be aware of every single sound taking place in your presence. Of course, in crowded situations, there are a lot of people, and that equals a lot of noise.
While you are getting used to your new hearing aid, try to limit your exposure to background noise if you can. If you have been invited to a party, have a word with the host to find out if it is okay for you to position yourself in a room of the house that is away from the room the stereo is in. Or, if the bulk of the crowd is chattering in one room, move into the kitchen or another area where you can still speak to people, but not be within the thick of the crowd. By eliminating some of the background noise, you can enjoy more what is happening right in front of you.
Face The Speaker
By facing the speaker while you are wearing your new hearing aid, you can look for clues in the way they move their mouth to fill in any words you are still having difficulty distinguishing. Many modern hearing aids have forward facing microphones, which means they will best catch words that are coming from directly in front of them.
The high-frequency range of sound is where a lot of age-related hearing loss occurs. Letters such as "t" and "f" occur at this level, which can make it difficult to distinguish words such as 'hip' and 'hit'. However, the combination of your new hearing aid as well as watching a person's face for verbal clues will make it easier to distinguish these words moving forward.
When facing the person you want to speak to, make sure any light is behind you. For example, if you are in front of a window on a sunny day, turn your back to the window so the sun is behind you and not streaming straight into your eyes. This will help you to very clearly see the person you are speaking to, and you can use the visual clues in their face to distinguish any words you are struggling with when crowd noise is intruding on your conversation.
Additionally, there is no shame to be had in reminding people you are partially deaf and adjusting to a new hearing aid. Don't feel embarrassed about asking them to reposition themselves so you can easily see their face when they are in front of you.
It may take a little while to get used to being out in the crowds again once you have a hearing aid. But don't let this new noisy world be one you are afraid of. With time and practice you will get used to communicating with people in busy situations again, so don't give up if the world gets a little too loud for you in the early days of hearing aid use.
For more information and tips, contact a local hearing clinic, such as Bloom Hearing.