Benefits of Keeping a Daily Hearing Journal
Adults with mild to moderate hearing loss experience similar difficulties, the most common complaint being difficulty understanding speech in various noisy listening environments. Hearing aids can provide considerable improvement to speech understanding and listening effort in daily life. However, the benefits can often be missed or overlooked by the hearing aid user due to other hearing difficulties that they experience. If you keep a daily hearing journal, it will help you assess what improvements you have experienced since using hearing aids, what challenges you still experience, and you can monitor what your expectations are for your hearing so that you can discuss with a hearing expert whether they are realistic or not.
We use various sensory stimuli, such as tactile, visual, and auditory stimuli, to form our experiences of our different environments. A hearing aid adds to the auditory stimuli that a hearing aid user would typically miss. For a new hearing aid user, wearing a hearing aid for the first time can be overwhelming due to the large number of new sounds or information that the brain has to process. As a result, it can take a considerable amount of time to adjust to a hearing aid, however, this does vary from user to user.
Auditory stimuli can create positive or negative experiences. Positive listening experiences are associated with feelings of joy, happiness, interest, excitement, satisfaction, love, peacefulness, comfort, and contentment. Examples of auditory stimuli that lead to positive experiences are music, the sound of familiar and friendly voices, laughter, and the beautiful sounds of nature. Negative experiences, such as frustration, anger, fear, sadness, annoyance, disgust, and even rage, may be due to loud and uncomfortable sounds, like sirens, screaming, traffic noise, banging sounds, or sudden explosive sounds. General noise is often the primary cause of annoyance for hearing aid users.
Modern hearing aid technology includes a variety of different features, usage tracking, as well as various hearing aid programs that have brought improved experiences and benefits to hearing aid users. When, where, and how often users wear their hearing aids, considerably impacts the amount and type of auditory stimuli they will encounter. In the end, this can determine the benefit these users experience.
Hearing experiences, especially negative experiences, can lead to negative expectations. These negative experiences can ultimately lead to hearing aid users abandoning their hearing aids due to dissatisfaction, however, a combination of client, hearing aid satisfaction with real-world hearing aid usage has the potential to improve:
- Hearing aid acceptance,
- Hearing aid acclimatization,
- Hearing aid usage,
- Hearing aid users’ ability to deal with difficult listening situations,
- Speech understanding,
- Listening effort.
What is a hearing journal?
A hearing journal is a record that hearing aid users keep of their daily hearing experiences. For the hearing aid user, this would ideally be during times of hearing aid use. Keeping daily entries allows hearing aid users to record positive and negative experiences. The entries provide valuable insights into daily listening activities, environments, partners, feelings, expectations, hearing aid use and adjustments, and ultimately hearing aid benefits in those listening situations. More specifically:
- It empowers users with knowledge about their feelings and emotions towards their hearing aids.
- It provides an opportunity to provide positive feedback about users’ real-world hearing aid experiences.
- It creates an opportunity for users to monitor their progress.
- It provides information about users’ most challenging listening experiences.
- It provides information that enables users to define your hearing difficulties better, and ultimately problem-solve better.
- It can help users identify patterns in their listening environments.
- It can help users to identify patterns in their hearing aid use.
- It can help users to set goals for themselves.
- It offers users insights that can improve contact sessions for hearing aid fine-tuning.
- It can provide information to personalize a user’s hearing aids to better match their needs.
Lexie Rewards Activities
Lexie Rewards activities include uniquely designed and predefined journal entries in order to optimize the benefits of keeping a hearing journal. We monitor them for you as a hearing aid user and give feedback, advice, and support to improve your listening experiences.
By completing the Lexie Rewards activities, you can earn Lexie points, but more importantly, you can learn insights into how to use your hearing aids, where improvements are required, and the benefits you gain from wearing your hearing aids.
These activities are ideal in environments where understanding speech can be more challenging, such as visiting family and friends, talking in a car, using the phone, watching television, listening to music, attending meetings, or shopping at the grocery store.
Keeping a journal
Most modern hearing aids have some sort of usage tracking or data logging functionality. The information you as a hearing aid user can get from this functionality is usually related to how long you wear your hearing aids per day, how often you use the volume control and your exposure to a variety of listening environments. However, it does not take into account your personal experiences, on a specific day, in one particular listening environment. That is why keeping a journal of your experiences is so important.
There are a few essential points to consider when keeping a hearing dairy:
- Was it a positive or negative listening experience?
- When did the listening event happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Who or what were you listening to?
- With what did you struggle?
- What was the sound quality of your hearing aid?
- What did you do to improve your experience?
- What worked to improve your experience?
- Have you had a similar experience before?
- Do you have the same experience every time?
- How often do you find yourself in that listening environment?
- How did the experience make you feel?
- Is the experience so bad that you need urgent changes to the hearing aids?
As a hearing aid user, It is vital to keep track of both positive and negative experiences. Try to improve the negative experiences by looking at your journal and evaluating whether you have realistic expectations for your hearing. You should also consider if you still need to get used to the sounds in that environment, if advice or support can offer a more positive outcome or if a hearing aid settings adjustment is the only solution.
Take your hearing journal along to all your appointments with your hearing health professional, or have it at hand during your check-in sessions with a Lexie hearing expert. Discuss it during your contact sessions, as it will give yourself and your hearing health professional more insight into ways to approach your hearing difficulties.