You’ve been looking forward to this day for quite a while. You received your new hearing aids. You’re so excited to be able to jump into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing parts of conversations or experiencing awkward transitions. But there’s a problem: everything sounds a little bit off.
That’s because it’ll likely take you some time to adjust to a new pair of hearing aids. This can be an annoying transition. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s taking so long.
The good news is, there are a few tips that can help accelerate the transition process. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a place where you’re paying less attention to hearing aids, and tuning in to what you’re hearing.
Start slowly with these tips
Your brain will take a little while to get used to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Here are a few ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Start by wearing your hearing aids at home only: When you’re at home, you have much more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll likely experience substantially less noise pollution. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
- Focus on one-on-one conversations first: If you wear your hearing aids while eating at a crowded restaurant on your first day you get them, you may be discouraged, not because the hearing aids aren’t working. 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 bit of extra practice, as well).
- Wear your hearing aids for a short period of time: A few hours at a time is the most you should use your hearing aids when you first start out. Your hearing aids will most likely feel a little strange in your ears for a while so beginning gradually is fine. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can use 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 some activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. Some of these are even fun!
- Turn on closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: put your hearing aids in, turn on the television, and watch your favorite program. As you read the dialog you’ll also be hearing the actors talk, and your brain will begin to remember 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 someplace a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. You can practice by concentrating on trying to hear the fridge running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds singing outside.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This similar exercise can also be really enjoyable. Your brain will learn to make associations between sounds and words by employing this read along technique.
Strengthen your hearing health with these tips
Of course, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your ears as healthy as possible. But, as you take some time to get used to your new hearing aids, there are a few things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- Be sure to note and report any pain: Your hearing aids shouldn’t hurt. So if you’re noticing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to let us know as soon as you can.
- Keep visiting us: You might not think you need to get hearing exams anymore after you get your hearing aids. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to track your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. It’s essential to continue with these follow up appointments.
Take your time, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time. A slow and steadfast strategy works quite often, but everyone’s different. You’ll want to get individualized guidance 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 ensure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep wearing them because they continue to improve your life.