After consulting with my hearing aid acoustician yesterday and my ENT specialist in Cologne (see pictures above) today, it is obvious that my ear still is slightly infected. It still needs lots of hearing-aid-free time, and I was given an ointment to use every night. A really stubborn thing, but quite common among hearing aid wearers.
My hearing aid acoustician mentioned a very interesting subject yesterday: Speech intelligibility. Hearing is one thing, understanding is someting completely different. Understanding takes place in the brain, and it does not come naturally. It can be learned and unlearned, so a hearing aid should be used as soon as possible when necessary. But: The brain has to get used to it. Everything sounds different with a hearing aid, louder, maybe just unpleasantly artificial. This is why an elderly person, whose hearing got worse over the last years, does object to wearing a hearing aid at first. Of course, a younger person has the same problem, but will adapt quicker. Training is the only solution to this problem. And: Wearing the hearing aid often and for as long as possible will shorten the process. The hearing aid acoustician will help by adjusting the settings of the hearing aid. Hearing is a very individual thing, it is absolutely normal that the settings has to be changed in the beginning. So do not hesistate to ask your acoustician for help, they are used to it and like to help!
One thing is important to me. People, who are profoundly or almost deaf often are pressured into getting cochlear hearing implants by doctors or authorities, so they can join the hearing community. I think this is a double-edged sword. Deaf people, espeacially those who are used to this from infancy, often don’t miss hearing and are quite happy. Normal hearing people may not be able to understand this, but this is the way it is. Even I, who lives with hearing people around me all the time, am absolutely convinced that there are many crueler things that could happen to me, than becoming deaf. And the most important reason not to have an CI in my left, deaf ear is: There is no guarantee that I will understand speech after this. There is the possibility that getting a CI results in hearing lots of noise, without recognizing speech. In every case, getting used to living with CI takes months, if not years – without knowing how it will turn out. So if you meet a person who decided for/against CI, be aware of the fact that this no easy decision to make.