First Time User Needs
A new hearing aid user will be a patient that has never properly treated their hearing loss, or a patient with a new or unidentified hearing loss. First time treatment patients will require different services than a patient who has previously worn hearing aids.
To effectively treat your hearing loss, you will need:
- Appropriate devices, hearing aids, for amplification
- Initial orientation and fitting
- Counseling on realistic expectations
- Aural Rehabilitation to overcome hearing loss and obtain the most benefit from amplification devices
- Adaptive follow-up rehabilitation care to provide the brain with information to become stronger with daily communication
The Rehabilitation Process
Amplification, hearing aids, are one part of the aural rehabilitation process. Hearing, processing, cannot be restored overnight. Research supports 6-8 months for the brain to reach its “new normal." There are factors that dictate the speed in which it takes an individual to reach full potential (i.e., age, processing ability, extent of hair cell damage, medications and much more.) Through rehabilitation a patient will find that they are hearing sounds more clearly, improvement in communication abilities including adjusting to speech in background noise more efficiently.
Aural Rehabilitation is an integral part of retraining the brain to process sound correctly. Aural rehabilitation includes, but is not limited to, adjustments to amplification, functional needs assessments, outcome measurements and verification of prescription, and patient counseling. Aural Rehabilitation Programs are services that focus on the adjustment correcting your hearing loss, proper use of hearing devices, managing effective communication, taking responsibility for communication, training the brain to adapt to this new "normal," and increase the quality of life.
Patients who undergo major knee surgery, for example, would be required to participate in rehabilitation/therapy after to ensure successful outcome of functionality. Treating hearing loss successfully is no different!
Patients with hearing loss will begin to withdraw from daily conversation which will affect quality of life. Audiologist’s will guide patients for successful navigation of social interactions again with communication strategies and tips on how to overcome challenging situations. These services will provide the patient with acceptance and understanding on while working to improve their quality of life surrounding successful communication. Aural rehabilitation is often provided one on one with a patient and audiologist. Alternatively, group sessions with others with the same issues, and even online aural rehabilitation programs could provide benefit to the patient as well.
Our office takes a person-centered approach to addressing your hearing loss, putting the opinions and desires of you and your loved ones at the center of care. We may hear with our ears, but we assign meaning to words with our brains. When you receive amplification, it's important to take time to allow your brain to get used to hearing sounds that it may not have heard in a while. There are communication techniques, tools, and strategies that our office can provide you with to help the transitional process of wearing amplification as seamless as possible. It’s important to know that to get the most benefit out of wearing hearing devices, you must make a serious commitment to the process of getting used to the devices, in order to get the most benefit from them. If you never give your brain a chance to adjust to sounds it hasn’t processed in a while, sound with amplification may never sound natural to you. Over time your brain will get to the new way that it perceives sound, and it will begin to sound more natural. Being able to communicate with loved ones is incredibly important to quality of life, not intervening for hearing loss can contribute to depression and has been linked to the early onset of dementia.