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 groove of your social life again. No more missed transitions or confused conversations. But there’s a problem: everything sounds just a little off.
That’s because it’ll most likely take you a while to adjust to a new pair of hearing aids. Often, this transition can be annoying. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s taking so long.
But there are some tips you can use to minimize this transition period. With some practice, you can quickly get yourself to a place where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and paying more attention to what you’re hearing.
Tips that help you start Slowly
No matter how technologically advanced they might be, it’s going to take your brain some time to adjust to hearing certain sounds again. Use these tips to start slowly and purposely give your ears time to adjust.:
- First, 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 you get them, you may be disappointed, not because the hearing aids aren’t working. It’s just that it’s hard for your ear and brain to cope with focusing on all those different voices. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition smoother (and give you a little extra practice, too).
- Begin by using 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 greater amount of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This will help you focus on individual voices.
- Only use your hearing aids for short periods of time to begin with: When you’re just beginning, you can practice by using your hearing aids for just a few hours at a time. Your hearing aids will most likely feel a little strange in your ears for a while so beginning gradually is okay. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can wear them for longer periods of time.
Get additional practice with these tips
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 enjoyable!
- Turn on closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: put in your hearing aids, turn on the television, and watch your favorite show. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the characters talk, and your brain will begin to remember 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: Go someplace a little quiet and experience the sounds around you. Start out by tuning in to the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds singing or nearby running water.
- Read along with the printed book while you listen to the audiobook.: This similar exercise can also be quite enjoyable. Your brain will learn to make connections between sounds and words by employing this read along approach.
Tips to keep your hearing health strong
Of course, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your hearing as healthy as possible. And there are a few tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get accustomed to using your new hearing aid:
- Be sure to note and let us know about any pain: Your hearing aids shouldn’t hurt. So if you’re experiencing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to let us know as soon as possible.
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to presume that once you’ve got the right hearing aids, you won’t need to see us anymore. This would be the worst idea. We can continue to track your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. These follow up appointments are really important.
Be patient, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time is the goal here. A slow and progressive strategy works quite often, but everyone’s unique. 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 ensure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep using them because they continue to enhance your life.