Congratulations—you’re prepared to join the millions of Americans who have learned how using hearing aids can make life more satisfying and fulfilling. Very soon, you’ll be hearing sounds you’ve long forgotten about, participating in stimulating discussions, and listening to music with greater discernment for each instrument.
But before you can get to all that, you’ll have to face a short phase of adjustment to get comfortable with your new hearing aids. Here are five recommendations to to assist you to get through this period and to help you get the maximum benefit out of your new technology.
1. Consult a Hearing Care Professional
If you wish to have the best hearing attainable, there’s no avoiding the initial step, which is visiting a hearing care professional. They can help you find the ideal hearing aid that matches your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget. And, most significantly, they can custom-fit and program your new hearing aid so that it’s optimized for your unique hearing loss.
Your hearing loss, like a fingerprint, is one-of-a-kind. That means every hearing aid should always be programmed differently—and this calls for the skill-set of a hearing care professional.
2. Give Your Hearing Aids a Chance
Your new hearing aids will take some getting used to. You’ll hear sounds you haven’t listened to in some time, your voice may sound different, and sound might as a whole just seem “off.” This is perfectly normal: you simply need time to adjust.
Start by making a commitment to wear your hearing aids for as much of the day as possible, for at minimum a few weeks. Put them in when you get up in the morning and take them out before bed. While it may be awkward at first, you’ll adjust to better hearing in no time—and it will be well worth the hard work.
If you discover that you’re having difficulty adjusting, set up a visit with your hearing care professional. Hearing aids can be fine-tuned, so you never have to give up on better hearing.
3. Start Small at Home
We suggest adjusting to your hearing aids to start with in the comfort of your home. Try watching a movie or TV show and paying particular attention to the conversation; take part in one-on-one conversations in a quiet space; and listen to music while trying to pick out different instruments and pitches.
Then, when you’re more accustomed, you can test your hearing aids out in more difficult conditions like at parties, restaurants, and movie theaters. Modern hearing aids have advanced features and environmental settings that can effortlessly handle these heightened listening demands—which segues perfectly to the fourth tip.
4. Master the Advanced Features
After you’ve adjusted to your hearing aids, you should start to learn some of the more sophisticated features. With the help of your hearing specialist, you can learn how to capitalize on the functionality and convenience of your modern hearing aids.
Depending on your specific model, you’ll be able to do things like wirelessly stream music and phone calls directly to your hearing aids, regulate the volume from your smart-phone or digital watch, and easily change settings to optimize your hearing in a variety of environments. Make sure to talk to your hearing specialist about all the features that may be beneficial to you.
5. Maintain Your Hearing Aids
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you care for your hearing aids. This means daily cleaning, proper storage, and managing your battery supply. Your hearing specialist will help you incorporate hearing aid maintenance and care into your daily routine so that it becomes automatic and effortless.
You’ll also want to get your hearing aids professionally cleaned and evaluated once or twice per year to ensure proper functioning for many years.
We’d like to hear from you: if you currently wear hearing aids, tell us about your experience! Let us know how you adapted to your hearing aids and any advice you’d give to those just getting started.