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How to practice listening/understanding with BB?


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My BB has been activated two days ago, and I'm having a hard time understanding anything. The result is that I turn my head in real life situations to catch what is being said, so in effect I listen with my good ear.


I haven't found any materials or instructions on the Medel Website related to the BB.


Here's my first practice idea that I tried out last night:


1. I put on hearing protection (industrial-type, looks like headphones, but is designed to protect ears from noise), making sure my good ear is covered well. That way, I have to listen with the BB hearing aid.


2a). I watch news on TV, or a panel discussion.


2b). I do the practice sentences provided on the Medel Website: e.g. http://medel.com/uk/resources-for-success-soundscape/

You can listen to the practice sentences with or without noise. Unfortunately, the listening exercises are all in English.

I'm a native German speaker, though, and would like to practise in my native language....


Any tips and experiences that other users would like to share?



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I wish I know of more tips. But how did other BB users cope? Did they experience difficulties comprhending speech with the BB device? Does this have to do with having normal hearing in the good ear? Hope the Med El company and experts would share some thoguhts. All the best to all.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Fredrik, how do I put in links that open?

I've got a few more things to share.

Thanks for helping out,


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Hi again,

one month down the road, I'm reporting back.

I just had my second appointment to program the processor, and had a few changes made to improve sound. My listening comprehension is slowly improving.


Here are a few of the insights that I gained from the audiologist regarding listening practice:

  • listening to audio books is recommended. For beginners, the audio book should follow the written text very closely. That way, it is possible to read the text first, and then listen to it.
  • listening to the radio is recommended
  • he cautioned that watching TV is not a good exercise in that there is a temptation to do lipreading  (watching news, I now close my eyes, if the speaker is shown on screen)

As I am slowly getting better, I find that I benefit the most from listening to complex situations. Example: I watch a documentary in which  people speak Arabic. The authors comment in English, and on top of that, there is a German voice-over, as the documentary is shown on German TV.

I'll put in a few links as soon as I know how to insert links...

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What I find disconcerting at times is that some sounds appear much louder than others (disproportionately):

  • the sound of foot steps, particularly in rain, snow, on pavement and on polished floors
  • the sound of the fabric of my windbreaker or coat (especially nylon fabrics), when I move
  • sh- or sharp s-sounds
  • the clicking of the keyboard
  • glasses clinking, dishes clattering, and so on....

I then find that I cannot concentrate easily, and of course it also has a bearing on my understanding language.


The audiologist tells me that these are sounds that I haven't been hearing after going deaf in one ear. He turned down some of the frequencies which affect the sounds I described to him, so I'm at least comfortable.


But he also tells me that the brain learns how to deal with these sounds over time, and that it will relegate "noise" to its proper place.

A lot of the adjustment to hearing with the Bonebridge is really an adjustment that the brain needs to make.

Isn't the human brain amazing?


In fact, the audiologist expects that in a couple of month's time, after successful adjustment, I will most likely ask him to turn up the level of sound again.


This really makes sense to me, and the conclusion from this is to wear the BB all the time, and just be patient and let the brain do its work...

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Thanks for this insight Regula. I found the same when I had my last middle-ear operation. I couldn't stand the noise of the car on the motorway, or the sound of the toilet flushing - I had to flush it and quickly run out of the room! Over time it got more bearable (and then my prosthesis fell off and I went back to being deaf - I missed the loud noises then!).


It is amazing that we can adapt. I have now adapted to not hearing things again - to the point where I'm wondering whether surgery is such a good idea - but I hope that when I've had my operation I will appreciate being able to hear things again, albeit maybe louder than I would like. There is something comforting about living in a quiet world - I can understand why some people do not want hearing aids.



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What I forgot to mention was that there is a setting, that somehow removes peaks from sounds. That setting was activated during my second session, and I find that helpful with sudden loud noises.


It is quite a change to go back to a world full of sound!


And yes, I'm beginning to understand people, who wear their hearing aids rarely. But I force myself to wear the sound processor even now that I am typing away (a sound I really dislike) just to get used to it again.


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Interesting observations Regula&Janine....mmm....


I am moderately to severely hard of hearing person since Day 1 but I have to say from my point of view that if you take any of my senses - I would not suffer so much as if it would be hearing Cry

I always liked to wear hearing aid (an I was given once when I was 4 year old) as much as I can - sometimes I even was sleeping with it and did not taking it off for days.

Not to be able to hear music it would be catastrophy for me...The day my hearing aid die, I felt like some part of me died - it is just not same feeling.


On the other hand, I know from my pro experience and people do not wear their hearing aid a lot because they can not stand them all the time and the period of adaptaion is long way. People are not patient enough - they expect and compare their new hearing abilities with some previous. Hearing aid is not new ear - it is prosthesis. We should adapt to the point that we are comfortale with new possibilities in comparison of the point we did not have or had bad hearing. This is start point.

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And for the subject of hearing adaptation - yes, it is amazing.

From my practice I have more experience with people who suffer from tinnitus. I have to explain to them same thing and after some time this actually works.


About audiologic adaptation, audiologists can do all kind of wonders. Switching on or off all kind of frequencies can do a lot of things. I remember how I have worked with my audiologist almost an hour for a simple sound of paper grinding.

Sometimes this is usefull if you do not find sound as close to the natural.

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