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Learning to live with hearing aids

Using a hearing aid effectively is not just a question of technology but requires an understanding of oneself and society, as well.

Learning to live with hearing aids

Fully one third of all hearing aids end up in the drawer because of inadequate instructions and counselling. A Norwegian study showed the importance of an introductory course in making the use of a hearing aid a short term as well as long term success.

Counselling helps
Audio therapist Kari Antonsen described an experiment at Ullevål Hospital in Norway in the report "Rehabilitation of adult hearing aid users". 54 hearing aid users and 11 relatives were given insights into the use of hearing aids in classes with 6-8 people lasting five nights. The classes dealt with every hearing aid aspect, from the anatomy of the ear to the possibilities and limitations of the use of hearing aids in daily life.

As a result, the class participants became far better equipped to make good use of their hearing aids than the 32 members of a control group who did not receive similar training.

Antonsen also investigated the long-term effects. Three years later, the class participants still enjoyed great benefits from their hearing aids. They were active and social and less irritated or angry about their hearing impairment.

According to Kari Antonsen, the study proved that information, service and counselling are extremely important in maximizing the benefits of using hearing aids.

Source: Din Hörsel, number 4, May 2002

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