Hearing Aids: How to Improve Listening Ability with Time
Hearing problems, like all other health issues, can make it difficult to live life to the fullest. You need to take measures to improve your hearing if you want to feel every moment of your life. For preventing hearing difficulties, you need to stay away from loud sounds and noises, handle stress, dry your ears without inserting various tools, prevent earwax build-up, and more.
When you think of treating your hearing loss, the first thing that typically comes to your mind is the usage of hearing aids. At first, wearing hearing aids may be challenging because of noise management, but it’s similar to wearing eyeglasses. After about two weeks, you as a new wearer can get comfortable with hearing aids. Hearing aids can improve a person’s ability to identify sounds, but they do not guarantee adequate listening skills.
How to Improve Listening Ability with Time
Your ears help you hear, but your brain helps you listen. You can train your brain and employ some strategies that can help you improve your listening ability over time.
Hearing and listening are two distinct things. Though you receive sounds and noises with your ears, your brain is exclusively responsible for translating those sounds into meaning. When we hear, we digest only the conversations that we listen to, which requires brain activity. The act of hearing is the recognition of sound, while listening needs both knowledge and hearing.
So, if we want to engage with our friends and other people, we need to train our minds to focus on listening. Communication is essential, and we must be able to interact with others around us wherever we go. When the ears have been damaged to a certain extent, even the best hearing aids can only help you hear better; they will never be able to replace or improve your listening skills. To listen, we must shut out distracting background noises so that we can focus on spoken words in noisy surroundings.
Active listening can help you enhance your hearing and communication over time if you do it daily, because if you don’t practice, you may lose some of your listening skills. Let’s dive into some common methods of improving your listening:
- Understand better how a hearing aid can help you and what it can do for your hearing.
- Take a lesson or join a club that can teach you how to listen better.
- When watching TV or movies, use subtitles or closed captioning.
- Face the individual you need to understand. The ideal distance for interpreting speech is 5 feet.
- Try to keep background noise to a minimum. Avoiding distractions like the television will help you understand discussions better.
Exercises that can improve your listening include:
- Listening to audiobooks and reading along with them.
- Picking out a voice in a crowded place and focusing on it.
- Interpreting quick speech.
- Understanding how you can fill the gaps in the speech where you have missed some words.
- Using strategies to develop your auditory memory.
- Reading along with someone else who reads a book aloud.
So, besides wearing hearing aids, you can train your brain to listen better. But if you are a new wearer of hearing aids, you may need some time to adjust to them. We’ve compiled a handful of tips on how to get used to your hearing aids:
1. First Wear Them In Quiet Places
Begin by using your hearing aids at home or in other quiet places:
- Concentrate on one-on-one talks where your friends and family members can support you to hear better.
- Read aloud to get more comfortable with the volume of your voice.
- Try to identify the sources of all the sounds in your surroundings for extra practice with your hearing aids.
- Listen to the radio or audiobooks at home.
- Experiment with different volume settings when watching TV.
- Wear the hearing aid for a few hours on the first day, then slowly increase the number of hours.
2. Visit a Professional
You should see your hearing care specialist as many times as you need to fine-tune the noises you’re hearing and modify the fit in your ear. Our specialists are always here to help and support you to have the best possible experience.
3. Listen to Everyday Sounds
Get used to everyday sounds like the kettle boiling, the humming of the refrigerator, computer noise, etc. For instance, a door opening or closing may sound incredibly loud or uncomfortable, even though it is a background noise that most people don’t notice. Your brain needs time to understand which noises to prioritize. People who are getting used to a new hearing aid must relearn how to disregard background noise, and they must be patient and take things slowly as their brains adjust. Remember that your brain has adapted to hearing loss, so it may take some time to relearn which noises are essential and which can be ignored.
The longer you use your hearing aids, the better you’ll be at handling background noise.
Benefits of Hearing Aids
Hearing loss affects every aspect of your life and can have a negative influence on your overall health and happiness. Hearing aids, on the other hand, can help to reduce the challenges that come with hearing loss. The following are advantages of wearing hearing aids.
- Better communication — It might be tough to maintain healthy relationships when you have hearing loss. You may have conflicts with your partner because of a lack of understanding. Hearing loss makes it hard to follow conversations at social events, especially when the environment is noisy. As a result, you may avoid such events and don’t go to friends’ gatherings and meetings, becoming socially isolated. The latter can raise your chance of developing mental health problems, such as anxiety, stress, and depression. People with advanced hearing loss find it challenging to live freely because of relying too much on others. While wearing hearing aids improves your ability to socially interact with others, improve your communication, and boost your confidence.
- Reduce tinnitus symptoms — Tinnitus is a common ear condition that creates a ringing, hissing, buzzing sound in your ear. It makes it tough to sleep and generates plenty of focusing issues. Both of these difficulties have an impact on your work performance, so if you have tinnitus and hearing loss, you must address them. A hearing aid can help you minimize these symptoms.
- Reduce the risk of cognitive decline — When a person’s hearing loss is left untreated, parts of their brain that deal with speech recognition can deteriorate. This increases your chance of cognitive decline over time. Hearing aids can help to slow down this process.
Hearing loss should be addressed as soon as possible, regardless of age as it will affect your quality of life and increase your chance of developing additional health problems. Whenever you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us as our professionals are always ready to guide you through the process of wearing hearing aids. Stay healthy and away from hearing loss!