You finally got your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to jump into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements of conversations or going through awkward transitions. But your hearing aids just don’t seem quite right.
The reason for this is that it will usually take a bit of time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. This can be a frustrating transition. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s hard to be patient.
But there are several tips you can practice to decrease this transition period. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re paying less attention to hearing aids, and tuning in to what you’re hearing.
Tips that help you start Slowly
Your brain will take a little time to get accustomed to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Here are a few ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Start by wearing your hearing aids at home only: You’ll be less likely to experience noise pollution at home and you will be able to have a better degree of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
- Start with one-on-one conversations first: If you wear your hearing aids while dining at a crowded restaurant on your first day you get them, you could be discouraged, not because the devices are doing anything wrong. When the brain has to focus on all those voices, it can get overwhelmed at first. By beginning with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition smoother and also get a little additional practice.
- Only use your hearing aids for short periods of time at first: When you’re just starting, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for just a few hours at a time. They may 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 wear them for longer durations.
Tips that help you get added practice in
There are some things you can do, as with any skill, that can help you with hearing aid practice. Some of these are even enjoyable!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: put your hearing aids in, flip on the television, and watch your favorite program. As you read the dialog you’ll also be hearing the characters talk, and your brain will begin to remember what all these words sound like. This sort of practice will help you adjust to hearing speech again.
- Do some listening practice: That’s right: Sit someplace a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. Start off by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds singing or nearby running water.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the print version: This is a really similar exercise (and allows you to get in some fun reading while you’re at it). Reading and listening to an audiobook simultaneously will help your brain make associations between sounds and words.
Improve your hearing health with these tips
Keeping your ears as healthy as possible, after all, is one of the primary purposes of hearing aids. 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.:
- Keep visiting us: You might not think you need to get hearing assessments anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be the worst idea. We can continue to watch your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. These follow up visits are really important.
- If you have any pain, make sure you document it and report it to us.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. So if you’re noticing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to let us know as soon as possible.
Go slow and increase your time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids
Working your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time is the goal here. Everyone’s unique but the slow and steady approach often works best. You’ll want to get personalized guidance from us on the best way for you to get used to your new hearing aid.
Sticking with 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 enrich your life.