You’ve been looking forward to 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. No more bad transitions or confused conversations. But there’s an issue: everything sounds just a little off.
The reason for this is that it will often take some time before you get used to your new hearing aids. This can be an annoying transition. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s hard to be patient.
The good news is, there are some tips that can help quicken the transition process. Before long, with a little practice, you will be paying attention to what you’re hearing instead of your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
Your brain will take a little time to get used to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Use these tips to proceed slowly and deliberately give your ears time to adjust.:
- At first, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: If you use your hearing aids while eating at a crowded restaurant on your first day using the devices, you may be discouraged, not because the devices are doing anything wrong. When the brain has to pay attention to all those voices, it can get overloaded at first. By starting out with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition easier and also get a bit of extra practice.
- Begin by wearing your hearing aids at home only: When you’re at home, you have a lot more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll probably experience significantly less noise pollution. This will help you focus on individual voices.
- Only wear your hearing aids for short amounts of time to begin with: When you’re just beginning, you can practice by using your hearing aids for only a few hours at a time. They might feel a little funny at first (this is normal), so it’s okay to start a little bit at a time. You can begin to use your hearing aids for longer periods as you become accustomed to them.
Get extra practice with these tips
As with 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. You might even have a little fun!
- Do some listening exercise: That’s right: Go someplace a little quiet and experience the sounds around you. Start out by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds singing or nearby running water.
- Use closed-captions when you watch TV: 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 actors talk, and your brain will begin to remember what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and adjusting to speech.
- Read along with the printed book while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a very similar exercise (and lets you have some fun reading while you’re at it). Your brain will learn to make connections between sounds and words by using this read along technique.
Tips to keep your hearing health strong
Keeping your ears as healthy as possible, after all, is one of the principal purposes of hearing aids. But, as you take some time to get used to your new hearing aids, there are some things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- Be certain to take note of and report any pain: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to let us know about any issues with fit or any pain right away.
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to believe that once you have the right hearing aids, you won’t need to see us anymore. This would be a bad idea. We can continue to track your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. These follow up appointments are really important.
Be patient, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to using your hearing aids full time is the goal here. A slow and steady approach is often effective, but everybody’s different. Understanding the best ways to get comfortable with your new hearing aids is something we can help you with.
Following these tips (and tips like them) can help ensure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep wearing them because they continue to improve your life.