Adjusting to New Hearing Aids

Kate Marnell, HIS
Latest posts by Kate Marnell, HIS (see all)

Once you’ve taken the leap and started wearing hearing aids, congratulations are in order! Making the leap is no small thing as many people live up to ten years knowing they need hearing help but do not make the move to invest in hearing aids. Many people are surprised to learn that it can take a while to get used to hearing aids. Along with learning how they work, you’re also grappling with all the new sounds and stimuli that your brain has forgotten about in recent years. It can take a while to get used to hearing aids and sadly many are tempted to quit at the beginning. This is going to help no one, especial you. Here are a few tips to help you get used to wearing your new hearing aids that will ensure success.

Adjust to your own voice

Your own voice may sound strange to you when you first get hearing aids. This is not unusual because hearing aids change the way you hear yourself especially if it’s been a while since you’ve heard clearly. The sound doesn’t travel through the air and back into your ears as it used to. Rather, you hear it inside your head, much like the way you do when you have a head cold. To help get used to this new sound, spend ample amounts of time by yourself and read aloud wearing your hearing aids.

Start slow at home

Start by wearing your hearing aids at home or in other quiet listening environments. Focus on having one-on-one conversations rather than throwing yourself directly into difficult listening situations like a crowded restaurant or party. Let your friends and family know you’re using your new hearing aids so they can help you stay committed to better hearing as you wear your aids. Take time to re-acquaint yourself with your own voice by reading aloud or talking to your pet.

Practice finding the source of sounds

A fun and helpful game to play with your new hearing aids is to practice finding the source of sounds around the house. From what direction is your partner speaking from and what is the source of that hum in the bedroom? Try to locate the sources of all the sounds in your environment.

Take breaks

It’s okay to take breaks from your hearing aids at first. Start by wearing them a few hours the first day and then increase the amount by an hour every day. Eventually you can practice wearing them in all sorts of environments to see the best way to navigate a plethora of situations hearing more clearly than before.

Anticipate some frustration at first

If you haven’t heard well in a few years, hearing aids flood your ears with sounds you didn’t notice before, and it can be a bit of sound overload. The sounds of the air conditioner buzzing might suddenly seem hard to ignore at first. This is because your brain has forgotten how to sort out background noise and to prioritize certain sounds over others. People adjusting to a new hearing aid have to relearn how to filter out or reprioritize background noise.

Attend follow-up visits

While your state-of-the-art new hearing aids will improve your hearing and how you interact it can take a while to adjust them just right to work best for you. You’ll want to see your hearing care professional for as many follow-up visits as you need to fine-tune the sounds you’re hearing and adjust the fit in your ear. Most people visit their audiologist about two weeks after their first fitting to get their devices fine-tuned to work for them and the listening situations that you are immersed on a regular basis.

We are Hear for You

After a few weeks, you’ll adjust to the sounds of chirping birds and raindrops on the roof that you were previously missing. You’ll find that wearing your hearing aids for longer and longer stretches seems effortless; in fact, it may seem impossible to imagine going back. Of course, we at Hear for You will always be there to help you through the process. If you are considering investing in hearing aids now is always the best time to take the leap for better hearing. Contact us at Hear for You to set up a hearing test and get on the road to healthy hearing.