The eyes are not the ears. Therefore, adapting to hearing instruments and the amplification they provide is very different than putting on a pair of glasses and suddenly being able to see clearly again and all being good. With sensorineural hearing loss, the most common kind of hearing loss, the cause is usually damage to the cochlea, or inner ear caused by day to day use, or over use in high volume situations, of our ears. This happens over time, often slowly. The net effect is often by the time the loss is detected and something is done about it, the brain and central nervous system are suddenly getting bombarded with sounds they haven’t had to deal with in a long time. Common examples of sounds like this include paper rustling, water running, breezes, clothes rustling, and the like. People with normal hearing hear these things all the time. They just tune them out without even thinking about it. So how can people with hearing loss re learn to tune them out and still use their hearing instruments?
For immediate short term relief with an iHear device, set the device to sound profile 3. This will quiet everything and let you get past that moment. You can keep your devices in mode 3 indefinitely if you wish, however for best results, we recommend the following steps to help you adapt.
- Wear your iHear hearing device for at least 2 hours per day in a location that is quiet – and without much if any ambient noise. This is at home for most people. Do this for a week or at least 5 consecutive days. If you can wear your iHear device longer, please do! This is to allow your brain and central nervous system to get a baseline of what quiet really is and serves as the foundation for the steps that come.
- After the first week, double the time you wear your devices in quiet to at least 4 hours per day in a quiet location. Additionally, wear your devices for at least an hour where there is at least some ambient noise. Examples include places like a city park, a zoo, a museum, a store, etc. Do this for a week. This will start to introduce your brain and central nervous system to sounds they haven’t had to deal with in a long time, and start to learn to tune them out. If you are still getting overloaded or find yourself going into mode 3 a lot, re-run iHTuner, paying attention to the bird chirp signal and soft female voice.
- This is the same as week one, except you should be wearing them close to 8 hours per day.
By the time you have finished this sequence, you should notice a marked improvement in your ability to filter out background noise. Will it ever be perfect normal hearing? Of course not. That is gone forever. What this will do is help you get used to the effect of your devices so you can get the best hearing possible in the face of your hearing loss.