You finally obtained 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 experiencing awkward transitions. But your hearing aids just don’t seem quite right.
The reason for this is that it will normally take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
But there are some tips you can practice to minimize this transition period. 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
No matter how technologically advanced they might be, it’s going to take your brain some time to get used to hearing certain sounds again. Here are a few ways you can purposely give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Focus on one-on-one conversations first: If you use your hearing aids while dining at a crowded restaurant on your first day you get them, you may be disappointed, not because the hearing aids are doing anything wrong. It’s just that it’s difficult for your ear and brain to manage focusing on all those different voices. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition easier (and give you a bit of extra practice, as well).
- Only wear your hearing aids for short periods of time at first: When you’re just beginning, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for just a few hours at a time. Your hearing aids will most likely feel a little strange in your ears for a while so starting gradually is okay. You can begin to wear your hearing aids for longer durations as you get used to them.
- Start by using your hearing aids at home only: 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.
Tips that help you get added practice in
Similar to any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are some activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. Some of these are even enjoyable!
- Use closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: put your hearing aids in, flip on the television, and watch your favorite program. Your brain will begin remembering what certain words sound like when 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: sit in a quiet room and let your ears do the hearing. You can practice by focusing on trying to hear the refrigerator running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds singing outside.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This is a very similar exercise (and allows you to have some fun reading while you’re at it). Your brain will learn to make associations between sounds and words by employing this read along strategy.
Tips to keep your hearing health strong
Obviously, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your hearing as healthy as possible. 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: You might not think you need to get hearing exams anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be the worst idea. We can continue to watch your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. These follow up appointments are really important.
- Be certain to note and report any pain: 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.
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 using your hearing aids all of the time. A slow and progressive approach works quite often, but everyone’s different. 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 using them because they continue to enhance your life.