Getting used to hearing aids: 10 Tips
If you have recently decided to get hearing aids, then congratulations on taking the first step towards recovering some of the familiar sounds you have been missing!
Wearing hearing aids for the first time can take a bit of adjustment. Read on to see our top 10 tips to help you get used to your new hearing aids.
1. Don’t get discouraged if they feel funny at first
Just like your nose might need to get used to the feeling of eyeglasses resting on it, your ears need a little time to adjust to the feeling of your hearing aids. You may be able to feel the device in your ear, but that will go away in a few days.
2. Gradually work your way up until you’re wearing them all day long
At first, only wear your hearing aids for a few hours a day. If you need to, it’s okay to only wear them in comfortable situations for the first few days; it’s better to get real benefit during the periods in which you feel able to wear them. Begin with a schedule in which you wear your hearing aids part time and gradually work up to wearing them from the time you rise until the time you go to bed.
Start off with a few hours a day around the house and get used to hearing all the extra sounds there first. As you become used to your hearing aids around the home then start to wear them in more challenging listening situations, such as in a shopping centre, at a restaurant or café, in the car, or other noisy environments. The first few times may be difficult but it will get easier as your brain gets used to the extra noise and learns to focus on what you want to hear and not so much on the other background sounds.
5. Start out in quiet environments
The last thing you’ll want to do if you’re new to hearing aids is to dive into a challenging hearing situation such as a busy restaurant or a big social event too quickly. Once you’re comfortable wearing your hearing aids around the house and you’re ready to venture outside, begin by wearing your hearing aid only in quiet environments and try wearing it in small groups of two or three people before trying situations with background noise. This way, your brain can adjust step-by-step to different sounds.
Adjusting to your new hearing aids may be tiresome. It’s a lot like retraining a muscle that has not been used in a while so you might need to take your hearing aids out occasionally to give yourself a break.
6. Be patient and give yourself time to adjust
When you first start to wear your hearing aids, the world around you may seem very noisy and some sounds that are part of everyday life may not sound natural and in some cases even feel irritating. Leaves rustling, water dripping, the sound of your own footsteps, your microwave running, keys jangling, a clock ticking… These are some of just a few of the everyday sounds that you have probably not heard properly for some time. You might feel overwhelmed at first but don’t worry, it’s all a part of your brain’s adjustment. Over time, your brain will acclimate to these sounds again and they will become less distracting.
7. Keep a diary
Write down anything that you feel is not quite right with the sound from your hearing device. Include as much information as possible such as where you were and what you were listening too and also what the problem was. Your audiologist can make many different adjustments to your hearing device so providing them with as much information as possible ensures they make the correct adjustment for you first time.
8. Talk it out
It is important to realize that wearing hearing aids is a psychological, physical and emotional process. Make sure you talk to your audiologist often about your expectations and your experience and get all your questions answered. While audiologists are trained to deal with mechanical problems in hearing, they also understand the difficulties you might experience when adjusting to a hearing aids. They might be able to offer advice and support, or point you in the direction of a local support group.
8. Be realistic
Hearing aids will help you hear better — but not perfectly. Focus on your improvement and remember the learning curve can take anywhere from six weeks to six months. Keep in mind that you probably lost your hearing gradually and over many years without realising it so it will take a little while to get used to hearing everything properly again.
8. Attend your follow up appointments
Even if you feel that everything is going well it’s important to attend any future appointments made by your audiologist. They may make some subtle changes to further improve your access to sound, provide additional programs for specific listening situations based on your initial experiences or may use this appointment to focus on communication strategies for you to use in more challenging listening environments.
Getting used to hearing aids requires motivation, perseverance and patience. It may seem tedious and troublesome at first, but stick with it. Your efforts will be worth it!
For additional information on adjusting to your new hearing aids visit this link, or to see the latest hearing aid styles and options click here. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!