You’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while. You got your new hearing aids. You’re finally going to be able to get back into the swing of your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements of conversations or experiencing awkward transitions. But there’s a problem: everything sounds a little bit off.
The reason for this is that it will often take a bit of time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. This can be a frustrating transition. You were so looking forward to enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s hard to be patient.
But there are some tips you can use to minimize this transition period. Before long, with a little practice, you will be paying attention to what you’re hearing instead of your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
No matter how technologically sophisticated they might be, it’s going to take your brain a little while to get used to hearing certain sounds again. Use these tips to start slowly and deliberately give your ears time to adjust.:
- Only wear your hearing aids for short periods of time at first: When you’re just beginning, you can practice by using 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 beginning gradually is okay. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can use them for longer durations.
- Initially, try to focus on one-on-one conversations: You could be setting yourself up for disappointment if you wear your hearing aids in a noisy environment on the first day. It’s just that it’s tough for your ear and brain to manage focusing on all those different voices. Sticking to one-on-one conversations can help make that transition smoother (and give you a bit of extra practice, as well).
- Start by wearing your hearing aids at home only: You’ll be less likely to encounter 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 focus on individual voices.
Tips that help you get extra practice in
As with any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are certain activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. You might even have a little fun!
- Use closed-captions when you watch TV: 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 actors 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 exercise: That’s right: sit in a quiet place and let your ears do the hearing. You can practice by concentrating on trying to hear the fridge running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds singing outside.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the print version: 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 together will help your brain make links between words and sound.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Of course, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your ears as healthy as possible. And there are a few tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get accustomed to wearing your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: You might not think you need to get hearing assessments anymore after you get your hearing aids. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to monitor your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. It’s essential to continue with these follow up visits.
- Be sure to note and let us know about any pain: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to report any issues with fit or any pain right away.
Be patient, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time is the objective here. Everybody’s unique but the slow and steady approach usually works best. Understanding 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 make sure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep wearing them because they continue to enrich your life.