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Hearing Aids Are Not an Instant Fix

Often people assume when a person is wearing hearing aids they work in a similar way to glasses: put them on and all is fixed! Well, I can tell you first-hand that this is not the case. Even as someone who has been around the Deaf community and hearing aid users their whole life, I still made assumptions about how they worked. I thought that I would put on my hearing aids and magic would happen. I was hoping that all of my hearing struggles would be taken care of and I could go on with my life.

Well, that didn't happen. I put on my hearing aid for the first time and was immediately overstimulated. After just one hour I needed to take it off for the rest of the day. Each day, I increased my hearing aid wear time by only a couple of hours until I was able to fully utilize it for the entire day. This process took me two weeks to fully adapt to the hearing world without being overstimulated. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. Even after months of daily wear, people sometimes still find their brains needing a break from all the sounds and noises.

According to the International Campaign for Better Hearing, the first time using hearing aids is a lot like trying on new shoes or clothes. People have found themselves in awe over the new sounds they experience and how common it is to be "surprised by how much you can hear your own breath and your own footsteps. These sounds can even sound like they are coming from someone else, or appear uncomfortably loud!"

It's Not Perfect

While the advancement of technology and the invention of hearing aids have drastically impacted the Deaf community, it is still not perfect. Hearing loss is one of those things that can change over time. According to the Speech & Hearing Center, "They’re not a cure to your hearing loss, and it’s something that you will get used to overtime. The sensation and the feeling of it being on your ear or in it. It’s always going to feel like a foreign thing to your body for a long time, depending on what type of hearing aid you choose and how your own body adapts to things." Even though I still notice the weight of my hearing aid on my ear and sometimes get overstimulated with the noise of the hearing world, hearing aids are a technological advancement that I am grateful for.

S.I.G.N. Academy Resources

At S.I.G.N. Academy, we are all too familiar with the above experience. As mentioned before hearing aids are a great tool for the deaf community, but they do not solve 100% of the problem. We believe that sign language can provide vital communication skills for both the hearing and deaf communities to understand one another better. We are proud to have ASL tutors-both deaf and hearing- from all over the country to assist you in achieving your ASL goals. Sign up for sign language lessons today!

Resources to Learn More: National Institute on Deafness and Other Hearing Disorders: