It is going to take a few weeks for your brain to re-adjust to hearing certain sounds again. We call this the Acclimatisation period and it varies from one person to another. Generally, the first 4 weeks are recognised as the most significant in the overall rehabilitation to better hearing.
When we wear hearing aids for the first time, the experience of the sudden increase in sound may be over-whelming for some. You may have suffered with a hearing loss for a long time, and have adapted to the quiet and not being able to hear all the sounds around you. But when you first wear your hearing aids, your mind and hearing is suddenly opened to a wealth and depth of new sounds.
To help you adapt to this new sound experience, Widex offer Acclimatisation, a method where the hearing aid will, over time, automatically and gradually increase the level of sound with you, to ensure that your hearing aids work with you to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition to better hearing.
Hearing aids are typically set to volume levels determined by your measured hearing loss, and fine-tuned by your Hearing Aid Audiologist during the fitting appointment to ensure you are happy with the comfort and clarity of sound.
Widex hearing aids offer a ‘four step’ acclimatisation pathway, whereby ‘Level 4’ is your ‘prescribed’, Target, level, based on your measured hearing loss. Initially, during the fitting procedure, the aids will normally be set at ‘Level 2’, slightly lower than your Target, so that the new sound level is comfortable. The Acclimatisation is then set to automatically gradually increase the level of sound over a period ranging between 1 week and 3 months, dependant on your personal hearing needs.
Over this period of time, the hearing aids will very gradually increase the volume level so that you can get used to the new levels of sound and be comfortable. It’s like being in the dark room and turning on a light – initially it is very bright, perhaps too bright, so by using a dimmer switch, you can start at a more comfortable, ‘low’ level of light, but then slowly, and gradually, increase the light level until the light is on full and you are seeing clearly and comfortably.
Widex’s Acclimatisation is a great tool to help with the transition from the quiet world you have been used to, to a vibrant and wonderful new world of sound and hearing.
Article by Jason Searle, bloom hearing Audiologist