You’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. You got your new hearing aids. You’re so excited to be able to jump into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing parts of conversations or experiencing awkward transitions. But your hearing aids just don’t seem quite right.
The reason for this is that it will often take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so long.
Fortunately, there are some tips that can help speed up the transition process. With some practice, you can quickly get yourself to a place where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and tuning in to what you’re hearing.
Start slowly with these tips
Regardless of how technologically sophisticated they may be, it’s going to take your brain some time to get used to hearing certain sounds again. Use these tips to proceed slowly and deliberately give your ears time to adjust.:
- Initially, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: If you wear your hearing aids while dining at a crowded restaurant on your first day using the devices, you might be discouraged, not because the hearing aids are doing anything wrong. It’s just that it’s hard for your ear and brain to deal with focusing on all those different voices. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition easier (and give you a little extra practice, too).
- Start by wearing your hearing aids at home only: When you’re at home, you have much more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll probably experience substantially less noise pollution. This means you can concentrate on one voice at a time.
- Only wear your hearing aids for short periods of time to begin with: When you’re just beginning, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for only a few hours at a time. Your hearing aids will probably feel a little strange in your ears for a while so starting gradually is fine. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can wear them for longer durations.
Tips that help you get added practice in
Similar to any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are certain activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. Some of these are even fun!
- Read along with the printed book while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a very 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 links between words and sound.
- Do some listening practice: 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 on: It’s easy: Turn the TV on, 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 get used to hearing speech again.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Obviously, 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 take note of it and tell us about it.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. So it’s important to report any problems with fit or any pain right away.
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to believe that once you’ve got the right hearing aids, you won’t need to have anymore hearing exams. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to monitor your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. These follow up visits are very important.
Go slow and maximize your time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids
Your objective here will be to work your way up to using your hearing aids full time. Everybody’s different but the slow and steady strategy usually works best. You’ll want to get individualized 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 enrich your life.