Adjusting to Having a Hearing Aid: New Ways to Hear

Two women talking.It’s not easy to concentrate on a conversation in the midst of distracting background noise. Getting the most from your hearing aid means learning new ways to listen — and not always with your ears. Your audiologist or hearing aid specialist can recommend classes in auditory or aural rehabilitation. This is training to improve your hearing by learning new listening techniques. For example, you’ll learn to pick out speech against background noise by watching the speaker’s moving lips, facial gestures, and body motions.

Better communication skills

An aural rehabilitation class provides an opportunity to resolve any remaining problems you may have with your hearing aid. These classes also offer counseling and support to help you and your family cope with the psychological and emotional aspects of hearing loss. Write down questions you have about hearing and your hearing aid and bring the list with you to class.

Hints for your family and friends

  • Speak at a normal level. The hearing aid will amplify voices.

  • Talk naturally and distinctly.

  • Don’t chew or smoke when speaking.

  • Don’t let your hands hide your mouth and face.

  • Turn off the radio or TV. Background noise is distracting.

  • Get the listener’s attention before speaking. You may not be heard when speaking from another room or if the listener is near a source of noise.

  • Talk face to face. Lip movement, facial expression, and gestures are an important part of conversation.

  • If you’re misunderstood, rephrase your comments. Don’t repeat the same words.