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 jump into your social life again. No more missed transitions or confused conversations. But there’s a problem: everything sounds a little bit off.
The reason for this is that it will often take some time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. This can be a frustrating transition. After all, there was so much you were looking forward to, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
But there are several tips you can practice to minimize this transition period. With a little 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.
Start slowly with these tips
Regardless of 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.:
- 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 greater degree of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This means you can focus on one voice at a time.
- At first, try to focus on one-on-one conversations: You may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you wear your hearing aids in a noisy setting on the first day. It’s just that it’s difficult 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 bit of extra practice, too).
- Use your hearing aids for a short duration: When you’re just starting, you can practice by using your hearing aids for only 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.
Get added practice with these tips
As with 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!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: put in your hearing aids, flip on the television, and watch your favorite program. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the characters talk, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and adjusting to speech.
- Do some listening exercise: That’s right: sit in a quiet room and let your ears do the hearing. Start out by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds chirping or nearby running water.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This comparable exercise can also be really enjoyable. Your brain will learn to make associations between sounds and words by using this read along approach.
Strengthen your hearing health with these tips
Obviously, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your hearing as healthy as you can. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get used to using your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: You may not think you need to get hearing evaluations anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be a bad idea. We can help make adjustments to your hearing aids, keep the fit comfortable, and continue to keep an eye on your hearing. It’s important to continue with these follow up visits.
- If you have any pain, make sure you document it and tell us about it.: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to let us know about any problems with fit or any pain right away.
Take your time, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time. Everyone’s unique but the slow and steady strategy often works best. You’ll want to get personalized advice from us on the best way for you to get used to your new hearing aid.
Following 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.