Many people seem to think that hearing aids are like eyeglasses - that by wearing hearing aids I can hear what I couldn't hear before in pretty much the same way that my eyeglasses and contacts correct my vision. Well, that's not quite right. I've learned that my hearing aids don't allow me to hear the high pitched sounds that I've lost. What they actually do is boost the loudness of sounds at the edge of my hearing loss. The best analogy I've come up with to describe this is to imagine looking at a painting with some parts of the picture blotted out and some parts blurred. With hearing aids, the painting as I perceive it still appears with missing parts of the picture but the blurry parts have become sharper and more recognizable. Does that make sense to you?
Another misconception people have is that I can control the volume of my hearing aids. Well, I can but not in the way that they're meaning. As mentioned previously I have 3 settings for my hearing aids. That does allow for a bit of control. However I can't "dial up" the volume to focus better on someone's voice speaking to me or even as some imagine to be able to eavesdrop on someone else's conversation. Hearing aids pick up on all the surrounding noise not on a single sound of my choosing. My best option for hearing better is to move closer to a speaker or to move the conversation into a quieter area altogether. In the past hearing aids had manual volume controls but today's hearing aids are digital which means they are programmed to automatically adjust to the noise levels in the environment. Hearing people's brains have long ago learned to filter out background noise that is distracting. Those who are new to hearing aids like me have to learn that skill all over again.