After purchasing hearing aids, it might take some time for you to get used to the new sounds around you. If you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a class about your new hearing aids, don't hesitate, do it! These classes will often last one to two hours in length and span a four- to six-week period. Ask your hearing care professional if they provide a class in your area so you can experience the most natural hearing possible with your new devices.
What you'll learn
Hearing aid orientation classes cover a slew of topics that everyone with hearing loss experiences. You may learn the basics of types and degrees of hearing loss so you can better understand your situation. Additionally, instructors will go over how to read an audiogram, which is the graph that paints a picture of your hearing loss as diagnosed by your evaluation. You'll also learn how to properly and effectively use hearing aids so that you receive the utmost benefits.
The class may go beyond the intricacies of hearing aids and focus also on how to cope in other ways. For example, many people with hearing loss rely on speechreading and auditory re-learning, which can help to decipher voices in loud settings. But other people will find assistive listening technologies to be especially helpful, like captioned telephones and FM systems, and these products can be challenging to use at first. Other strategies for understanding speech more aptly and adjusting to hearing aids may also be covered.
Goals to achieve
When you are first diagnosed with hearing loss, you may feel isolated or alone. Hearing aid orientation classes are organized to ensure that you are aware that your experience is not unique. In fact, one in three people over the age of 60 have hearing loss, and that number increases to nearly 50 percent of the population who are older than 85. In a class, you're able to mingle with peers who are experiencing the same thing as you, so you have a supportive group of people who can offer funny stories, successes and even difficulties.
Don't do it alone
Hearing loss isn't something that you should go through by yourself. While you might feel like you don't want to put any burden on family or friends, they probably don't feel the same way. Ask a close loved one to come along to a class with you as support, and so that they can learn about hearing loss. The beginning stages of hearing loss are the most challenging for many because it requires a level of adaptation that can seem unreachable. With the help of a loved one, you can be optimistic about your future and have a support system around you at all times.