Treating hearing loss is not as simple as taking a pill or setting up your smart watch. Because people generally take a long time to start to treat their hearing loss after they first notice an issue with their hearing, their brains have already begun to change. When our hearing gets worse our ears stop sending as much sensory input to the brain. This causes the brain to rewire itself and devote resources to other sensory needs. Once we treat a patient’s hearing loss, they will start hearing all the sounds they have been missing. This can cause an overload of sensory input to the brain and cause patients to experience sounds as harsh, annoying and “too loud”. Its important to understand that this is a process that we need to work through. We have to get that connection between our ears and our brain active again.
If you start hearing loss treatment and it seems loud, harsh and difficult, THAT IS GOOD. It means we are starting to exercise the ear brain connection again. For most patients this process can take a few months if they are wearing their hearing technology for most of the day and in appropriate listening environments. Once we get patients through that stage we really start to see improvement and excitement from our patients. They often find that they can hear people clearly again in many important life situations like:
- Driving in the car
- Sitting in a busy restaurant with friends
- Listening to music
- At work
- Hearing soft high pitched voices they have been missing for years.
The points to remember are that we can make a huge difference in your life every single day and not to give up during the transition period at the beginning of treatment.