You’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. You received your new hearing aids. You’re finally going to be able to get back into the groove of your social life again. No more bad transitions or unclear conversations. But your hearing aids just don’t sound quite right.
That’s because it’ll likely take you some time to adjust to a new set of hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. After all, there was so much you were looking forward to, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
But there are some tips you can practice to minimize this transition period. With some practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re paying less attention to hearing aids, and tuning in to what you’re hearing.
Start slowly with these tips
No matter how technologically sophisticated they may be, it’s going to take your brain some time to adjust to hearing certain sounds again. Here are some ways you can deliberately give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Start with 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 might be disappointed, not because the hearing aids aren’t working. It’s just that it’s hard for your ear and brain to deal with focusing on all those different voices. By starting out with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition easier and also get a little extra practice.
- Only wear your hearing aids for short amounts of time at first: 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 weird in your ears for a while so starting slowly is fine. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can use them for longer periods of time.
- Begin 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 better amount of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This will help you focus on individual voices.
Tips that help you get extra practice in
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. Some of these are even enjoyable!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions on: It’s easy: put your hearing aids in, turn on the TV, and watch your favorite program. As you read the dialog you’ll also be hearing the characters speak, and your brain will begin to remember what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and adjusting to speech.
- Simply practice hearing: That’s right: Go someplace a little quiet and experience the sounds around you. You can practice by focusing on trying to hear the refrigerator running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds chirping outside.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the print version: This is a very similar exercise (and allows you to get in some fun reading while you’re at it). Reading and listening to an audiobook together will help your brain make connections between sounds and words.
Improve your hearing health with these tips
Keeping your ears as healthy as you can, after all, is one of the primary purposes of hearing aids. But, as you take some time to get accustomed to your new hearing aids, there are some things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- If you’re experiencing any pain, be sure you document it and tell us about it.: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to report any issues with fit or any pain right away.
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to believe that once you’ve got the right hearing aids, you won’t need to have anymore hearing exams. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to monitor your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. It’s important to continue with these follow up visits.
Be patient, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time is the objective here. A slow and steadfast strategy is often effective, but everyone’s unique. Learning the best ways to get comfortable with your new hearing aids is something we can assist you with.
Following these tips (and tips like them) can help ensure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep using them because they continue to improve your life.