Acclimatization to Hearing Aids

It is widely recognized by hearing aid users and audiologists that a period of acclimatization and adjustment is needed for new hearing aid users to become accustomed to newly fitted hearing aids. I will present a summary of our research into acclimatization which includes i) investigation of real life, perceptual and electrophysiological changes with hearing aid use, ii) new users’ reports of the experience of ‘getting used to’ hearing aids and iii) the hypothesis that adjustment to hearing aids involves a process of learning to ‘tune out’ unwanted and distracting background sounds that may impact on speech recognition. Understanding of acclimatization to hearing aids could inform how and when hearing aid benefit should be assessed and could also help people with hearing impairment obtain more benefit from amplification.

Learning Objectives:
1. Awareness of the concept of ‘auditory acclimatization’ in relation to hearing aid use.
2. Contrast evidence for acclimatization based on real life, patient report, perceptual and physiological measures.
3. Identify how auditory attention may relate to adjustment to hearing aid use and hearing aid benefit.