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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hearing Aids Part II

Today was my first day with my hearing aids. It took me about 20 minutes to read through the instructions, put the batteries in, and fit the correct dome for my ears. Then I turned them on. It takes a few seconds for the sound to begin to amplify, but once it did the fun began! The first thing I did was to go outside with my dog. Everything was louder - the door, the dog's bell, and the birds! I could hear a choir of birds chirping and tweeting. Although some of the noises were too loud, overall it was awesome!

This is where I purchased my aids.
My next tryout was watching television with my husband. I had him set the volume to where he likes it. Then I began trying out the various settings on my devices until I found what worked for me. At first, I liked it on Program 1, but later, I decided Program 2 seemed to work better for me. It was wonderful watching TV without my headphones and the captions!

Next, we went to a restaurant. There was so many sounds there that I had never heard before, including dishes clanging. Not every sound I was hearing with my new aids was pleasant! But I finally turned my aids to Program 3 and it seemed to quiet everything down. I could still hear Bill, but most of the background noise was reduced. I drove home on Program 3 as well and was not annoyed at all that car sounds!

Next, I tried the telephone. I tried Program #4, which is recommended for some phones, but it didn't work. I have an iPhone. Then I read that some phones work better with 1, 2, or 3. So I switched back to 1 and it worked fine. No problems hearing through the phone. I later found a list of compatible phones on the MDHearingAid website. If you have a T3 phone, then you can use Program 4, but I am quite happy using my iPhone on Program 1-3.

Choices of domes
I found that I was getting a bit of feedback off and on, so I changed from the open dome to the closed one. This seems to be working better for me. I'm not sure it the feedback was from having the aid too loud, using the open dome, or what; but it is not doing the feedback thing now that I've switched to a closed dome. I will continue with these for awhile, and then switch back after I get used to the device.  If it still doesn't work, then I'll know I need the closed domes. They give you several sizes of both the open and the closed so that you can find one that works for you.

The last thing I did today was go to handbells practice. I was afraid the bells were going to be overwhelming, but I was surprised. I had no problem with the bells. Instead, I had more problem with my director. Apparently, he has a very loud voice (at least through my hearing aids). I had to turn down the volume. Other than that, all went well.

My impression from my first day is that I think I will get used to these in a short time. There is a lot of extra noises to deal with that I have not heard before. Some pleasant; some not so pleasant. I heard my car engine continue to run after I shut it off. That was weird, but apparently it does that all the time. Feedback from putting my hands in front of the hearing aid can be extremely noisy, but I soon learned not to approach them from the front. Some noises in my surroundings are uncomfortable, but I've been told that you eventually get used to it. I'll let you know after 21 days. That is the period of time that the company says it will take to get totally used to them.

I am really anxious to try it out at school. For me, this is the main reason I got them. I have a hard time hearing my students. If they pass that test, I will be extremely excited!

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