Your hearing aids are awesome! They are incredibly helpful in many listening environments — yet you’re still frustrated by your hearing loss. Sound familiar? If so, you’re in a huge and diverse club made up of just about everyone with a hearing loss. Let’s talk about why these frustrations remain.
Let’s start with your ear. Think of your hearing system as a circuit that absolutely cannot be circumvented. At the beginning of the circuit is your hearing aid. At the end of the circuit is your brain. In the middle? Your ear. And as you have likely learned from your audiologist, your ear isn’t working correctly. So the big question is this: How can we train the brain to learn to accurately interpret the message (however muddled) that it is receiving from the ear?
You start with an excellent hearing aid. And I mean excellent. See the best audiologist you can find and purchase the best hearing aid you can afford. This ensures that every sound possible is delivered to your ear as clearly and accurately as possible, to ensure the gaps are filled and to maximize the information your brain receives.
Second, aural rehabilitation: Yep, this means you have some work to do — and it’s absolutely worth it. Hearing is the easy part of listening. Aural rehabilitation requires you to purposefully focus on and listen to auditory information, and this process teaches your brain to correctly interpret the different way it is hearing.