You finally obtained those new hearing aids. You’re so excited to be able to dive into your social life again. No more missed transitions or confused conversations. But there’s an issue: everything sounds just a little off.
That’s because it’ll probably take you some time to adjust to a new pair of hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. After all, there was so much you were looking forward to, and that adjustment period just feels so long.
The good news is, there are a few tips that can help quicken the transition process. With some practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re paying less attention to hearing aids, and paying more attention to what you’re hearing.
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. Use these tips to start slowly and purposely give your ears time to adjust.:
- First, try to focus on 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 aren’t working. It’s just that it’s tough for your ear and brain to cope with focusing on all those different voices. Sticking to one-on-one conversations can help make that transition smoother (and give you a bit of extra practice, as well).
- 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.
- Wear 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 start out. They might feel a little uncomfortable at first (this is normal), so it’s good to start a little bit at a time. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can use them for longer periods of time.
Get additional practice with these tips
Much like any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are a few activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. Some of these are even enjoyable!
- Do some listening practice: That’s right: Sit someplace a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. You can practice by focusing on trying to hear the refrigerator running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds chirping outside.
- Use closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: put in your hearing aids, turn on the TV, and watch your favorite program. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the actors speak, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and getting used to speech.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the print version: This is a very similar exercise (and lets you get in some fun reading while you’re at it). Reading and listening to an audiobook together will help your brain make connections between sounds and words.
Improve your hearing health with these tips
Obviously, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your ears 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: There might be a temptation to believe that once you’ve got the right hearing aids, you won’t need to see us anymore. This would be a bad idea. We can continue to monitor your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. These follow up appointments are really important.
- If you have any pain, make sure you take note of it and tell us about it.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t hurt. So if you’re noticing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to let us know as soon as possible.
Take your time, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to using your hearing aids full time is the objective here. Everybody’s unique but the slow and steady approach often works best. Understanding 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 using them because they continue to enrich your life.