Successful hearing aid fitting depends on accepting one’s deafness

February 15, 2011 by Sarah Roy

Successful hearing aid fitting depends on accepting one’s deafness

Hearing loss is sneaky; it usually develops gradually. This is why motivation, self-confidence and support from family and friends are important factors in successful hearing aid fitting.

People who suspect they have a hearing problem often wait several years (seven years on average) before doing anything about it. According to statistics from the Ordre des audioprothésistes du Québec, 10% of the population is affected by hearing problems. What’s more, 80% of those affected are not diagnosed or treated. Insecurity and a lack of information on the subject could partly account for why people aren’t motivated to undergo an initial examination.

With the new technologies now available, hearing aids can improve quality of life for people with a hearing impairment as well as those around them. Hearing aids not only allow for improved hearing, comprehension and auditory cues, but also make people feel more secure by making it possible to localize sounds more easily.

These benefits also extend to other areas: the person with the hearing impairment has a renewed interest in social activities, doesn’t have to ask people to repeat themselves as often… Essentially, the person is able to break out of his or her isolation.

Day-to-day use of one’s hearing aids is crucial to the adaptation process. At first, certain sounds that have been barely audible for many years might be annoying, like a refrigerator motor, a ticking clock or water dripping from a tap. Everyone is different, so adaptation periods vary as well. Whenever you visit your audioprosthetist, your hearing aids can be adjusted so as to reduce these bothersome noises and find the right sound levels to meet your hearing and communication needs.

Successfully adapting to wearing hearing aids is possible if the person with the hearing impairment shows determination, has the support and understanding of those around them, and maintains a positive outlook. The importance of family and friends in the rehabilitation process should not be underestimated. Their support helps the person with the hearing impairment persevere and progress from denial to acceptance of his or her deafness.

Don’t hesitate to consult your audioprosthetist or specialized educator regularly at one of Lobe Santé auditive et communication’s multidisciplinary clinics. They can help you throughout your hearing rehabilitation process.

Ordre des audioprothésistes du Québec, OAQ ad, October 2010.