You’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. You got your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to dive into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements of conversations or experiencing uncomfortable transitions. But your hearing aids just don’t seem quite right.
The reason for this is that it will normally take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. Sometimes, this transition can be annoying. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
But there are a few 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 rather than your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
Your brain will take a little while to get used to hearing certain sounds again no matter how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Here are some ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Use your hearing aids only around the house at first: When you’re at home, you have much more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll probably experience considerably less noise pollution. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
- Use your hearing aids for a short period of time: When you’re just starting, you can practice by using 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 slowly. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can wear them for longer durations.
- At first, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: If you use your hearing aids while eating at a crowded restaurant on your first day you get them, you could be disappointed, not because the hearing aids are doing anything wrong. When the brain needs to focus on all those voices, it can become overwhelmed at first. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition easier (and give you a little extra practice, too).
Tips that help you get added practice in
Much like any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are some activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. You might even have some fun!
- Read along with the printed book while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a really similar exercise (and allows you to have 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.
- Turn on closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: Turn on the TV, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. Your brain will begin remembering what certain words sound like when you read along with the voices you’re hearing. This can give you some practice hearing and adjusting to speech.
- Just practice hearing: That’s right: sit in a quiet space and let your ears do the hearing. Start out by tuning in to the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds chirping or nearby running water.
Tips to keep your hearing health strong
Keeping your ears as healthy as possible, after all, is one of the principal purposes of hearing aids. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get used to using your new hearing aid:
- Be sure to take note of and report any pain: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So if you’re noticing 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 think that once you have the right hearing aids, you won’t need to have anymore hearing exams. This would be a bad idea. We can help adjust your hearing aids, keep the fit comfortable, and continue to check in on your hearing. These follow up visits are really important.
Go slow and maximize your time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to using your hearing aids full time. A slow and steadfast approach is often effective, but everybody’s unique. You’ll want to get individualized 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 improve your life.