You’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. You received your new hearing aids. You’re so excited to be able to jump into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing parts of conversations or going through uncomfortable transitions. But there’s an issue: everything sounds a little bit off.
The reason for this is that it will normally take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. This can be a frustrating transition. You were so looking forward to enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s hard to be patient.
Luckily, there are some tips that can help quicken the transition process. Before long, with a bit of practice, you will be paying attention to what you’re hearing rather than your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
Your brain will take a little time to get used to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Use these tips to start slowly and deliberately give your ears time to adapt.:
- Use your hearing aids for a short duration: A few hours at a time is the most you should use your hearing aids when you first start out. Your hearing aids will probably feel a little strange in your ears for a while so beginning gradually is fine. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can wear them for longer durations.
- Initially, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: If you wear your hearing aids while dining at a crowded restaurant on your first day using the devices, you may be disappointed, not because the devices are doing anything wrong. It’s just that it’s tough for your ear and brain to cope with focusing on all those different voices. By beginning with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition smoother and also get a little additional practice.
- Begin by using your hearing aids at home only: You’ll be less likely to encounter noise pollution at home and you will be able to have a greater degree of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This will help you focus on individual voices.
Tips that help you get extra practice in
There are some things you can do, as with any skill, that can help you practice hearing. Some of these are even fun!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions on: It’s easy: Turn on the TV, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the actors speak, and your brain will begin to remember what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and getting used to speech.
- Read along with the printed book while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a really similar exercise (and allows you to get in some fun reading while you’re at it). Reading and listening to an audiobook simultaneously will help your brain make associations between sounds and words.
- Simply practice hearing: That’s right: sit in a quiet space and let your ears do the hearing. You can practice by concentrating on trying to hear the fridge running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds chirping outside.
Tips to keep your hearing health strong
Keeping your ears as healthy as possible, after all, is one of the main purposes of hearing aids. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get accustomed to using your new hearing aid:
- If you have any pain, be sure you document it and report it to us.: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So if you’re noticing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to let us know as soon as possible.
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to think that once you’ve got the right hearing aids, you won’t need to have anymore hearing exams. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can help adjust your hearing aids, keep the fit comfortable, and continue to keep an eye on your hearing. These follow up visits are very important.
Go slow and maximize your time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to wearing your hearing aids all of the time. A slow and steadfast strategy works quite often, but everybody’s different. Learning the best ways to get comfortable with your new hearing aids is something we can help you with.
Implementing these tips (and tips like them) can help make sure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep wearing them because they continue to enrich your life.