You finally obtained those new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to jump into your social life again. No more bad transitions or confused conversations. But there’s a problem: everything sounds a little bit off.
That’s because it’ll likely take you some time to adjust to a new set of hearing aids. Often, this transition can be annoying. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s hard to be patient.
But there are a few tips you can use to minimize this transition period. Pretty soon, with a little practice, you will be paying attention to what you’re hearing instead of your hearing aids.
Tips that help you start Slowly
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 some ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Focus on one-on-one conversations first: If you wear your hearing aids while eating at a crowded restaurant on your first day using the devices, you may be discouraged, not because the devices aren’t working. It’s just that it’s hard for your ear and brain to manage focusing on all those different voices. By beginning with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition easier and also get a little additional practice.
- Only use your hearing aids for short periods of time at first: A few hours at a time is the most you should use your hearing aids when you first start out. They may feel a little funny at first (this is normal), so it’s good to start slowly. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can wear them for longer periods of time.
- Begin by using 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 substantially less noise pollution. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
Tips that help you get added practice in
There are some activities, as with any skill, that can help you with hearing aid practice. Some of these are even enjoyable!
- Read along with the printed version while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a really 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 words and sound.
- Simply practice hearing: That’s right: sit in a quiet place and let your ears do the hearing. Begin by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds chirping or nearby running water.
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: Turn on the TV, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. Your brain will start to remember what certain words sound like when you read along with the voices you’re hearing. This sort of practice will help you get used to understanding speech again.
Tips to keep your hearing health strong
Of course, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your ears as healthy as you can. But, as you take some time to get used to your new hearing aids, there are a few things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- Be sure to take note of 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 report it as soon as you can.
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to think that once you have the right hearing aids, you won’t need to see us anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to track your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. These follow up visits are really important.
Be patient, 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 unique but the slow and steady approach often works best. Learning 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 ensure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep using them because they continue to improve your life.