You’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. You got your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to jump into your social life again. No more bad transitions or confused conversations. But there’s an issue: everything sounds just a little off.
The reason for this is that it will often take a bit of time before you get used to your new hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. 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 minimize this transition period. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and tuning in to what you’re hearing.
Start slowly with these tips
No matter how technologically advanced they might be, it’s going to take your brain some time to get used to hearing certain sounds again. Here are some ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Use your hearing aids only around the house initially: 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 means you can concentrate on one voice at a time.
- Only use your hearing aids for short amounts of time to begin with: A few hours at a time is the most you should wear your hearing aids when you first start out. Your hearing aids will probably feel a little weird 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.
- Initially, try to pay attention to one-on-one conversations: You might be setting yourself up for frustration if you use your hearing aids in a noisy environment on the first day. It’s just that it’s tough for your ear and brain to deal with focusing on all those different voices. Sticking to one-on-one conversations can help make that transition easier (and give you a little extra practice, as well).
Get extra practice with these tips
Much like 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 could even have some fun!
- Read along with the printed book while you listen to the audiobook.: This comparable exercise can also be very enjoyable. Your brain will learn to make associations between words and sounds by using this read along technique.
- Use closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: Turn on the TV, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. Your brain will start to remember what certain words sound like as you read along with the voices you’re hearing. This can give you some practice hearing and getting used to speech.
- Simply practice hearing: That’s right: Go somewhere a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. 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 up
Obviously, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your ears as healthy as you can. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get accustomed to using your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: You may 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 sure the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. These follow up appointments are really important.
- If you’re experiencing any pain, make sure you document it and report it to us.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t hurt. So if you’re noticing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to report it as soon as you can.
Take your time, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time is the goal here. Everybody’s unique but the slow and steady strategy often works best. You’ll want to get individualized advice from us on the best way for you to get accustomed to your new hearing aid.
Implementing these tips (and tips like them) can help make sure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep using them because they continue to improve your life.