You’ve just got your new hearing aids, congratulations! Regardless of whether this is your first time wearing hearing aids or this is just a new pair, there will be an adjustment period.
Unlike putting on new glasses and immediately seeing clearer, hearing aids work differently. They require more time for the user to adjust in order to get the full benefit of their hearing devices. Below is a few of the best tips to keep in mind as you get used to wearing them. With time and practice, you will reap the benefits of your new hearing aids.
Develop a strategy
When you get your new hearing aids, it’s a good idea to talk to your provider about your strategy for adjusting to them. That can mean starting each day with them on and increasing the amount of time they are worn each day or your provider might recommend to start by wearing them the whole day. It’s a good idea to talk to your provider and have a strategy. You can always adjust your plan as needed, however having a plan to start with will make it easier to adjust.
Changes in sound
Whether it’s your first time wearing hearing aids or it’s just a new pair, when wearing them for the first time you will likely notice the volume. After living with hearing loss, for any period of time, you have now adapted to that lower volume. Therefore when the volume is suddenly turned up by putting on your new devices, it will likely sound loud at first.
Similarly, you will hear much more than you have been without hearing aids. Everything from air conditioners to traffic noise will seem new. Keep in mind that these were all things you heard before your hearing loss, your brain just learned to ignore the background noise. The more you wear your hearing aids and adjust to them, the more your brain will learn to ignore those background noises again. These new sounds are another example of why having that starting plan is a good idea.
Talk to friends and family
Your support system at home will play a key role in your adjustment period. Do you have friends or family who wear hearing aids? Ask them about their experiences and any advice they may have as you learn to use your new devices. Everyone has a system that worked for them, by asking for advice from people who have lived it, you will find tips that work best for you. Furthermore, talk to your family, household, and friends about what you are hearing and what you need from them to hear better.
If you need people to look at you while speaking, ask. If you need them to repeat something, ask. They want you to be included in the conversation just as much as you want to be included. Give them the information they need to make sure you are. Communication and teamwork will make your adjustment period that much smoother.
Consult your provider
If you are having trouble with the fit or feel of the hearing aid, you will be less likely to wear them. This will hinder the time that it will take to get used to the sound changes. If this is an issue, bring it back to your provider to try different things to help them feel more comfortable. In some cases, they will need to refit you, however your provider may have much simpler options that work for you.
Comfort will be key to regularly wearing your new devices and therefore successfully adapting to wearing them. In addition to the fit, hearing aid settings can be very diverse. Finding the right settings for your lifestyle can take a few tries to get right. After wearing the hearing aids at home, talk to you provider about what is working well and what sounds could be changed. Fortunately, most settings can be changed in the office during your visit.
By having a strategy, knowing what to anticipate, communicating with your loved ones, and keeping in touch with your provider for any needed adjustments, your transition into life with hearing aids can be a successful one.