The three steps toward better hearing—it’s like riding a bike, you never forget.

Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? It was that incredible feeling of accomplishment and independence that had you telling everyone, friends at school, your aunts, uncles…pretty much anyone who would listen. And it was a skill we never forgot, even if we haven’t been on a bike in years we can hop back on and quickly remember how to get moving. Somehow our brains pull up the “ride bike” file from our memory bank, insert it into our motor skills output extremities (arms and legs…) and we’re off and pedaling in a matter of seconds. Well, the same thing can be said about our hearing.

Though you never seem to forget how to ride a bike, if you’re like us, your joints don’t seem to enjoy riding them as much as you did as a child.

As we age, our hearing naturally fades – you might be able to still hear for the most part but not everything is as clear as before and there may be some moments of incomprehension or misunderstanding and you tend to struggle hearing softer sounds like people speaking (they’re mumbling though, am I right?). You have to try harder and harder to comprehend what people are saying as the years pass. So, what can you do to remedy this? That’s where Eargo comes in.

Despite knowing how to ride a bike, hopping back on that shiny two-wheeler can take some getting used to again if you haven’t done it in some time. Well, wearing hearing aids have a similar experience….your brain needs some time to adjust to the wonderful world of full technicolor hearing again. To help you adjust to your new hearing aids, there are three steps you can take… you might call them “The Trifecta” of better hearing health: Audibility, Adaptation and Active Listening. When you master these steps and treat your mild to moderate hearing loss you’ll notice a reduction in frustration, increased social participation and improved overall health and longevity. [1] [2]… and you’ll notice again how easy riding that bike can be.

Continue reading to learn about each of the three steps and how they each contribute to a better quality of life.

#1 – Audibility

Simply put, audibility refers to your ears’ ability to detect whether a sound is present or not. When we experience hearing loss, our audibility tires have gone a bit flat, particularly for certain types of sounds.

Our hearing aids put air back into your tires and help restore audibility for adults with mild to moderate, high-frequency hearing loss. Ears that struggle with soft and high-pitch audibility aren’t in their best shape to determine these types of sounds on their own. Why? Because a lot of speech, in particular consonants, are soft and high pitched in nature. When our ears don’t detect all of the speech sounds, it leaves our hearing brain working to guess what was said. This is what makes engaging in conversation while experiencing hearing loss seem like riding a bike with flat tires up a very steep hill – it’s exhausting!

Did you know? Eargo hearing aids were engineered to allow your ears to pick up soft, high pitch sounds more clearly. When clients wear Eargo every day, they are taking steps to actively improve their audibility.

#2 – Adaptation

The second step in getting back on the proverbial bike is adaptation. This is where your brain begins to adjust to that new bike smell along with a newfound sense of improved audibility. For the first weeks, you’ll be asking your brain to work hard for the money (so hard for it, honey) to make sense of the soft, high pitch sounds it is starting to receive.

When clients consistently wear Eargo devices, their ears become better detectors of speech apart from background noises. Speech processing is the complicated act of making sense of the spoken word, isolating any background noise, and extracting meaning from the larger conversation.

Did you know? Over time, a brain whose ears are experiencing hearing loss won’t be able to process speech well. Getting back into the swing of things can take time; but, much like getting back on a bicycle, your brain will make sense of which foot to put in front of the other.

Adaptation on a new bike involves getting used to new pedals, a new seat, and how to change gears. Adaptation with a hearing aid involves new sensations, since the nerve fibers and brain areas that aren’t used to being stimulated are waking up thanks to an increase in audibility. As nerves start firing and the hearing brain begins to do a more complete job of processing, sounds may seem louder than memory serves. Sounds like water, packaging, clothing, and footsteps that previously faded into the background now become very noticeable.

Did you know? The hearing brain has a good idea of what to pay attention to and what to leave in the rearview mirror. For first-time hearing aid wearers, time and patience are paramount while sifting through newfound sound stimulation to figure out which sounds should be tuned into and which can be tuned out.

Just like learning (or re-learning!) how to ride a bicycle, adaptation takes practice and perseverance. Wearing your new hearing aids consistently for a few weeks, for at least eight hours per day, will allow sound processing to normalize. Better speech understanding is just on the other side of this hearing hill.

#3 – Active Listening

The third and final step in this trifecta is active listening. On a bike this would be active, focused and determined peddling. Those who have struggled to understand conversation due to hearing loss can begin to withdraw from social activities. The amount of effort and strain on the ears and hearing brain is simply too much, and it often feels easier to withdraw than continue to struggle. Just like when you haven’t been on a bike in a while, it takes time and effort to get back into your old biking shape. Your legs need to feel one with the bike and the road as you build up your stamina.

Active listening means deliberately focusing on speech, taking mental notes of the topic of each conversation, sitting close to the sound source (unless they talk with a full mouth, yuck!), watching the face of the speaker, asking for clarification when needed, and developing confidence in your listening abilities as they come back to life.

Did you know? One helpful active listening technique is to take five minutes of the day with your hearing aids to hone in on one particular sound. This sound can be the breeze in the trees, birds, a song you like, a loved one’s voice, an audiobook or an orchestral piece of music. Take time to mindfully listen and isolate the sounds. This will help your brain in the sifting process.

The Trifecta: As Easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Audibility from Eargo is your new bicycle. While it’s going to help you get where you’d like to go more quickly, you still have to put in the work and pedal.
  2. Adaptation is like first learning to ride that new bike. You’ll likely needed some help, determination and confidence. That’s why Eargo provides convenient telehealth support for our clients, on their schedule. We work with clients to help them adapt to our modern hearing aids, and provide them the tools and advice needed to succeed.
  3. Active Listening is like riding your new bicycle daily for pleasure and exercise. While it takes work to continue pedaling, you arrive at your destination in an enjoyable, efficient way. The more you ride, the fitter you get, the faster you go, and the more effortless it seems!

line

Eargo’s team of audiologists and licensed hearing health professionals is here to help make these three steps as easy as getting back on that bike. While it may seem daunting at first, it is worth the journey and soon you’ll relive that incredible feeling of accomplishment and telling all your friends, nieces, nephews, kids….pretty much anyone who will listen. We can’t wait to join you on this ride, and you can request free sample for fit and feel, or call our personal hearing guides with questions at 1-800-734-7603. We are all ears for any questions about our product or process.

This post is one part of a series around helping people help themselves hear better, which is the author and audiologist’s area of specialty. For more information on what high-frequency hearing loss is and how it affects us, please read “High Frequency Hearing Loss: What’s the Big Deal?”

Sources

[1] http://www.hearingreview.com/2016/02/study-shows-hearing-aids-improve-brain-function/

[2] https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2017/september/new-research-shows-hearing-aids-change-lives-and-improve-health.aspx

Author

Helping people hear better is Dr. Gilligan's passion. She uses Telehealth to connect with people in their own homes and offices in real time.

41 Comments

  1. Well done.
    GREAT attitude at your company.
    Love your somewhat flip style.
    Dealing with Eargo has been a wonderful experience. You guys are superb.

  2. Vincent Lauer Reply

    I have the earco for about 2 months now. I have 2 covers a medium and a large for each device. However I find that even the medium covering is too large for my right ear. How may I may I obtain a small feathery White covering that goes over the hearing part of the unit.
    Sincerely Vincent Lauer
    901-359-0948

  3. Kenneth Phifer Reply

    Thank you, I have a lot of trouble talking on the phone, even with my Eargos, so I was hoping to get more advice that I could read.

  4. My husband has been quite deaf since Vietnam. I cannot get him to try any more hearing aides, he just says they do not work so why waste money on them. He is with drawing from social contacts. Any suggestions?

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      We suggest new-to-Eargo clients try our free sample kit to get an understanding of the fit and feel of our devices. After requesting the sample kit, you’ll receive a call from one of our personal hearing guides to discuss your level of hearing loss, as Eargo was designed for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. You can request your non-working sample kit today from try.eargo.com, or call us with any questions at 1-800-734-7603. We’re all ears!

  5. Shirley Creazzo Reply

    Dear Folks at Eargo. – I so appreciate for this very welcome information, I am very much impressed with how comprehensive it was, and how well it explained the problem, and will be forwarding it to family members and some friends. I only recently have experienced some hearing loss and nobody, not even the EN&T doctor I went to for testing explained things as your article did. As a matter of fact they explained nothing! Now I will read the other links you provided and will be much closer, I feel sure, to knowing how I must proceed with my problem.

    Thankfully,
    Shirley Creazzo

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      Ch(ears), Shirley! Please reach out to our Personal Hearing Guides (think of them as your personal ear concierge) at 1-800-734-7603 should you have any questions about our insanely comfortable, virtually invisible hearing aids.

  6. Edward Peters Reply

    These EARGO MAX hearing aids are so much better than the BTE I had from the VA.
    When I needed help or talk to a VA audiologist, I needed to make appointment 3 weeks later.
    That is ridiculous. I can talk to a EARGO specialist immediately.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      Thank you for your service, Edward. Our Personal Hearing Guides are hear to help you hear more of life. Think of them as your personal ear concierge – they’re all ears at 1-800-734-7603.

  7. Great article. I’m now wondering if my continual usage of “training wheels” (closed captions for the hearing impaired) should be curtailed. It’s the lazy way, no?

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      It’s never too late to remove the training wheels. Eargo was designed for adults experiencing mild to moderate, high-frequency hearing loss. Our personal hearing guides are all ears at 1-800-734-7603 to help you hear more of life.

  8. E Robert . Statham Reply

    I have had a problem with my Eargo’s with in the first 6 or 7 months.
    The co made a quick response to find out the problem. But more in
    portant is that they followed up on how they were working and was
    i happy. I am very happy with the Eargo’s and the company personnel
    and attitude to serve their clients. Which is no found in most company’s.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      We’re happy to hear hatt! Thank you for sharing your excellent Eargo experience. As you know, our team of personal hearing guides are hear for you to answer any questions or provide support (technical or otherwise). We’re all ears at 1-800-734-7603. Ch(ears)! ?

  9. My Dad is 86 years old and has some hearing aids that need to be replaced. Is there any chance he would benefit from these Eargo hearing?

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      Eargo was designed for adults with mild to moderate, high-frequency hearing loss and may not be appropriate for those experiencing more severe to profound loss. You can take our hearing screener at try.eargo.com, or call our team of personal hearing guides with any questions at 1-800-734-7603. Ch(ears)! ?

  10. Ron Carnell Reply

    I was diagnosed with hearing loss many years ago. I was told it was in the human voice range. It was done by a nurse employed by a steel mill. How will you know what amount I need? My wife says she would like for me to get help soon.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story, Ron. Eargo was designed for adults with mild to moderate, high-frequency hearing loss and may not be appropriate for those experiencing more severe to profound loss. You can take our hearing screener at try.eargo.com, or call our team of personal hearing guides with any questions at 1-800-734-7603. Ch(ears)! ?

  11. Donald Baker Reply

    What are the price ranges and are there any plans a available? How much down . Would I need

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      We’re currently selling two products, Eargo Plus and Eargo Max, for $1,950 & $2,450, respectively, with financing options as low as $90/month. Eargo costs almost 50% less than the average BTE hearing aid. Hear’s more on our payment plans & in-home trial: https://shop.eargo.com/trial.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      We’re happy to hear Eargo is helping you hear more of life! Thank you for sharing your excellent Eargo experience. Our team of personal hearing guides are hear for you to answer any questions or provide support (technical or otherwise). We’re all ears at 1-800-734-7603. Ch(ears)! ?

  12. David B. Renaud Reply

    Sounds easy……..However, I triesd a couple of pair of hearing aids, and was “not” very happy……….They were the expensive ones, not the cheepies………. Maybe I should try yours…………. DBRx 8-18-2018

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      We suggest new-to-Eargo clients try our free sample kit to get an understanding of the fit and feel of our devices. After requesting the sample kit, you’ll receive a call from one of our personal hearing guides to discuss your level of hearing loss, as Eargo was designed for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. You can request your non-working sample kit today from try.eargo.com, or call us with any questions at 1-800-734-7603. We’re all ears!

  13. Bob Caldwell Reply

    If you are in a group setting but only talking to a few people should you turn them to a lower setting.

  14. aida rivera rivcsw1@gmail Reply

    Trying a hearing aid for the first time and have difficulty with the high pitch and hearing my own voice on my left ear, which is my weaker one.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Aida. We’ll send a note to your personal hearing guide now to follow up on your sample kit request, or please feel free to dial us directly at 1-800-734-7603.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      We’re not seeing either email address in our database, Carla. If you’d like to speak with a personal hearing guide, can you please reach out to our team at social@eargo.com? Ch(ears)!

  15. Marian Beilharz Reply

    I love my Eargo hearing aids. I have experienced something that is concerning, however. I have just discovered that I have Tinitus in my right ear. The only time I hear it is when I’m Not wearing my hearing aids. What is the relationship between hearing aids and tinnitus.

    Marian Beilharz

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      Individuals with tinnitus report hearing sensations of sounds such as ringing, hissing, buzzing, clicking or roaring without any external stimulus. Noises associated with tinnitus can vary in pitch with some loud enough to affect someone’s ability to focus. Moreover, the sounds may be present around the clock. Some of those experiencing tinnitus have reported some symptom relief through tinnitus maskers, the use of sound machines (which produce “white noise”) and, in some cases, hearing aids. Eargo was designed for adults with mild to moderate, high-frequency hearing loss. We cannot offer assurance our hearing aid will provide relief from tinnitus. Please call our team of personal hearing guides with any questions. We’re all ears at 1-800-734-7603.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      We’ll send a note to your personal hearing guide now, and please feel free to dial us directly at 1-800-734-7603. We’re all ears!

  16. Slewis Brown Reply

    I have waited for samples of your hearing device to arrive in the mail. My acupuncturist told me about your aids and supposecly entered my name and address twice. Shall we try one last time? I have a hefty list of allergies, some being likely components of your hearing aids so it is important for me to try them on to find out a yes or no on what my body will accept in and around my ears. I also have Meniere’s so that is a consieration.
    I hope to receive your response. Thank you.

    • Jennifer D. Reply

      David, we’re not seeing a user in our database with the email address you used to comment hear. Could you please email our team at social@eargo.com with the information you provided when you originally made your sample kit request? Ch(ears)!

  17. Jennifer D. Reply

    Thank you for your suggestion. We’ll adjust our font colors accordingly. Ch(ears)!

Write A Comment