You finally got your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to jump into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements of conversations or going through awkward transitions. But your hearing aids just don’t seem quite right.
The reason for this is that it will normally take a bit of time before you get used to your new hearing aids. Often, this transition can be annoying. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so long.
But there are several tips you can use to minimize this transition period. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and tuning in to what you’re hearing.
Start slowly with these tips
No matter how technologically sophisticated they might be, it’s going to take your brain a little while to adjust to hearing certain sounds again. Here are a few ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Wear your hearing aids only around the house initially: When you’re at home, you have much more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll likely experience substantially less noise pollution. This will help you focus on individual voices.
- Initially, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: If you wear your hearing aids while eating at a crowded restaurant on your first day using the devices, you may be discouraged, not because the devices are doing anything wrong. When the brain has to focus on all those voices, it can get overwhelmed at first. By beginning with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition smoother and also get a little extra practice.
- Use your hearing aids for a short period of time: A few hours at a time is the most you should wear your hearing aids when you first get started. They may feel a little uncomfortable at first (this is normal), so it’s okay to start slowly. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can use them for longer periods of time.
Get extra practice with these tips
There are some activities, as with any skill, that can help you practice hearing. You may even have a little fun!
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the print version: This is a really similar exercise (and lets you get in some fun reading while you’re at it). Your brain will learn to make connections between words and sounds by using this read along technique.
- Turn on closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: Turn on the TV, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. Your brain will begin remembering what certain words sound like as you read along with the voices you’re hearing. This can give you some practice hearing and getting used to speech.
- Simply practice hearing: That’s right: Go someplace a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. Start out by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds chirping or nearby running water.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Keeping your ears as healthy as you can, 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 wearing your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to presume that once you have the right hearing aids, you won’t need to have anymore hearing exams. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to watch your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. These follow up visits are very important.
- If you’re experiencing any pain, be sure you take note of it and report it to us.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. So if you’re experiencing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to report it as soon as you can.
Be patient, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to using your hearing aids full time is the objective here. A slow and steady approach works quite often, but everyone’s unique. You’ll want to get personalized advice from us on the best way for you to get used to your new hearing aid.
Following 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 improve your life.