You’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while. You received your new hearing aids. You’re finally going to be able to get back into the swing of your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements 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 often take a bit of time before you get used to your new hearing aids. Sometimes, this transition can be frustrating. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s taking so long.
But there are a few tips you can use to decrease this transition period. Pretty soon, with a bit of practice, you will be focusing on what you’re hearing instead of your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
Your brain will take a little time to get accustomed to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Here are some ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Start by wearing your hearing aids at home only: You’ll be less likely to experience noise pollution at home and you will be able to have a better amount of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This will help you focus on individual voices.
- Focus on one-on-one conversations first: If you wear your hearing aids while dining at a crowded restaurant on your first day you get them, you may be discouraged, not because the hearing aids are doing anything wrong. When the brain needs to pay attention to all those voices, it can get overwhelmed at first. By starting out with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition easier and also get a little extra practice.
- Use your hearing aids for a short period of time: When you’re just starting, you can practice by using your hearing aids for only a few hours at a time. 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 use them for longer periods of time.
Tips that help you get added 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!
- Just practice hearing: That’s right: sit in a quiet room and let your ears do the hearing. Start off by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds chirping or nearby running water.
- 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 when you read along with the voices you’re hearing. This kind of practice will help you adjust to hearing speech again.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This similar exercise can also be very enjoyable. Your brain will learn to make associations between sounds and words by employing this read along strategy.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Keeping your ears as healthy as you can, after all, is one of the primary purposes of hearing aids. And there are a few tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get used to using your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to think 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 monitor your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. It’s essential to continue with these follow up appointments.
- If you’re experiencing any pain, be sure you document it and report it to us.: Because it shouldn’t be painful to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to let us know about any issues with fit or any pain right away.
Take your time, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Your objective here will be to work your way up to using your hearing aids full time. Everyone’s different but the slow and steady approach often works best. You’ll want to get individualized guidance from us on the best way for you to get used to your new hearing aid.
These tips will help you live a more enjoyable and enriched life with your new hearing aids.