You’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. You got your new hearing aids. You’re finally going to be able to get back into the swing of your social life again. No more missed transitions or confused conversations. But your hearing aids just don’t sound quite right.
That’s because it’ll likely take you a while to adjust to a new set of hearing aids. This can be a frustrating transition. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so long.
The good news is, there are some tips that can help speed up the transition process. With some practice, you can quickly get yourself to a space where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and paying more attention 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. Use these tips to proceed slowly and purposely give your ears time to adjust.:
- Start by using 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 considerably less noise pollution. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
- Start with one-on-one conversations first: If you use your hearing aids while eating at a crowded restaurant on your first day using the devices, you might be disappointed, not because the devices are doing anything wrong. When the brain needs to focus on all those voices, it can get overloaded at first. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition smoother (and give you a little extra practice, as well).
- Wear your hearing aids for a short period of time: When you’re just starting, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for only a few hours at a time. They might feel a little uncomfortable at first (this is normal), so it’s okay to start a little bit at a time. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can wear them for longer periods of time.
Tips that help you get added practice in
Similar to any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are certain activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. You may even have a little fun!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: put your hearing aids in, turn on the television, and watch your favorite show. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the actors talk, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and getting used to speech.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This is a really similar exercise (and lets you have some fun reading while you’re at it). Reading and listening to an audiobook concurrently will help your brain make links between words and sound.
- Do some listening exercise: That’s right: Go someplace a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. Start off by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds chirping or nearby running water.
Improve 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 some things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- If you’re experiencing any pain, be sure you take note of it and tell us about it.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. 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 may not think you need to get hearing exams anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be the worst idea. We can continue to track your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. It’s important to continue with these follow up appointments.
Take your time, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time is the goal here. Everyone’s unique but the slow and steady strategy usually works best. You’ll want to get personalized guidance from us on the best way for you to get accustomed to your new hearing aid.
Following 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 enrich your life.