You’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. 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 a problem: everything sounds a little bit off.
The reason for this is that it will normally take some time before you get used to your new hearing aids. This can be an annoying transition. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
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 sophisticated they may be, it’s going to take your brain some time to adjust to hearing certain sounds again. Here are a few ways you can deliberately give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Wear your hearing aids only around the house initially: When you’re at home, you have a lot more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll likely experience significantly less noise pollution. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
- At first, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: You could be setting yourself up for disappointment if you use your hearing aids in a noisy setting right out of the box. It’s just that it’s hard for your ear and brain to deal with focusing on all those different voices. By starting out 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 to begin with: When you’re just starting, you can practice by using your hearing aids for just a few hours at a time. They might feel a little uncomfortable at first (this is normal), so it’s okay to start slowly. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can use them for longer periods of time.
Tips that help you get added practice in
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!
- Read along with the printed version while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a very similar exercise (and allows you to have some fun reading while you’re at it). Reading and listening to an audiobook concurrently will help your brain make connections between sounds and words.
- Just practice hearing: That’s right: Go somewhere a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. 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: put your hearing aids in, flip on the TV, and watch your favorite show. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the characters speak, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and adjusting to speech.
Tips to keep your hearing health strong
Of course, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your hearing as healthy as you can. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get used to using your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: You may not think you need to get hearing evaluations anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be the worst idea. We can help tune your hearing aids, keep the fit comfortable, and continue to keep an eye on your hearing. It’s important to continue with these follow up appointments.
- If you’re experiencing any pain, be sure you document it and tell us about it.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. So it’s important to let us know about any problems with fit or any pain right away.
Be patient, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time. A slow and progressive strategy works quite often, but everyone’s different. You’ll want to get individualized guidance from us on the best way for you to get accustomed to your new hearing aid.
These tips will help you have a more enjoyable and enriched life with your new hearing aids.