Most hearing aids can adjust the sound amplified based on the sound it picks up. Therefore, if it picks up a soft sound, it will be amplified more than a moderate or a loud sound. Depending on where the hearing loss is, the hearing aid can be programmed to provide more high frequency amplification and less low frequency amplification.
Hearing aids can detect sudden noises and compress sounds to prevent the wearer from being surprised by loud noises. They can also identify and reduce continuous background noise. They can differentiate, to an extent, the difference between a speech signal and a noise signal. Furthermore, hearing aids can be set to deal differently with music than with speech or noise. They can be connected to various forms of technology, such as the TV, cell phone or landline, to improve communication through these devices. However, none of these replace brain function and while the hearing aid is an important step in the process to rehabilitating hearing and communication difficulties, what you do to better your hearing and processing of auditory information is just as important.
A hearing aid has no value without the added benefit of aural rehabilitation. It is like fitting a person who has lost a limb with a prosthetic device and failing to teach them how to use it.
Learning how to effectively use your new hearing aids will include adopting new communication strategies, participating in an aural rehabilitation programme, having patience to allow your brain time to adjust to change, persevere when things seem difficult, to realise that you can’t run the Comrades if you only train for 15 minutes a day and being honest about the improvements that you experience. If the only thing that you dislike about amplification is the sound of your feet on the tiles, that’s not really a significant difficulty, particularly if you are not asking people to repeat themselves as often as before, the television is now turned lower and you are able to participate in conversation around you without putting your foot in it.