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 groove of your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements of conversations or experiencing awkward transitions. But there’s an issue: everything sounds just a little off.
The reason for this is that it will usually take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. This can be a frustrating transition. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
Luckily, there are a few tips that can help speed up the transition process. Pretty soon, with a bit of practice, you will be focusing on what you’re hearing rather than your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
Your brain will take a little while to get used to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Here are a few ways you can deliberately give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Only use your hearing aids for short amounts of time at first: When you’re just starting, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for only a few hours at a time. Your hearing aids will most likely feel a little weird in your ears for a while so starting slowly is fine. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can wear them for longer durations.
- At 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 you get them, you might be discouraged, not because the devices aren’t working. When the brain needs to focus on all those voices, it can get overloaded at first. Staying with 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 at first: You’ll be less likely to encounter noise pollution at home and you will be able to have a greater degree of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
Tips that help you get extra 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. You could even have some fun!
- Just practice hearing: That’s right: sit in a quiet place and let your ears do the hearing. Start out by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds singing or nearby running water.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: 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 associations between sounds and words by employing this read along strategy.
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: Turn the TV on, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the characters speak, and your brain will begin to remember what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and getting used to speech.
Strengthen your hearing health with these tips
Keeping your ears as healthy as you can, after all, is one of the main purposes of hearing aids. But, as you take some time to get accustomed to your new hearing aids, there are some things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- Keep visiting us: You may not think you need to get hearing exams anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be a bad idea. We can help make adjustments to your hearing aids, keep the fit comfortable, and continue to check in on your hearing. These follow up appointments are very important.
- If you have any pain, make sure you document it and tell us about it.: 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 report it as soon as you can.
Take your time, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to using your hearing aids full time. Everybody’s different but the slow and steady approach usually works best. You’ll want to get personalized guidance from us on the best way for you to get accustomed 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 enhance your life.