You’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while. You received your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to dive into your social life again. No more missed transitions or unclear conversations. But there’s an issue: everything sounds a little bit off.
The reason for this is that it will normally take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. You were so looking forward to enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s taking so long.
But there are a few tips you can practice to reduce this transition period. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and paying more attention to what you’re hearing.
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. Use these tips to proceed slowly and deliberately give your ears time to adapt.:
- Use your hearing aids only around the house initially: You’ll be less likely to encounter noise pollution at home and you will be able to have a greater amount of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This means you can focus on one voice at a time.
- Only use your hearing aids for short periods of time to begin with: A few hours at a time is the most you should use your hearing aids when you first get started. They might feel a little uncomfortable at first (this is normal), so it’s good to start a little bit at a time. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can use them for longer durations.
- 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 could be disappointed, not because the devices aren’t working. It’s just that it’s tough for your ear and brain to manage focusing on all those different voices. By starting out with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition smoother and also get a bit of additional practice.
Tips that help you get added practice in
There are some things you can do, as with any skill, that can help you practice hearing. Some of these are even enjoyable!
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This is a really 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.
- Watch TV with the closed-captions on: It’s easy: Turn on the TV, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. As you read the dialog you’ll also be hearing the characters speak, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This type of practice will help you adjust to understanding speech again.
- Do some listening practice: That’s right: Sit somewhere a little quiet and experience the sounds around you. You can practice by focusing on trying to hear the fridge running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds singing outside.
Improve your hearing health with these tips
Of course, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your hearing as healthy as possible. 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.:
- If you’re experiencing any pain, make sure you document it and tell us about it.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. So it’s important to report any issues with fit or any pain right away.
- 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. This would be a bad idea. We can continue to track your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. It’s important to continue with these follow up visits.
Be patient, and build 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 steady approach works quite often, but everybody’s different. You’ll want to get personalized advice from us on the best way for you to get accustomed to your new hearing aid.
Sticking with 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 enrich your life.