You’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. You got your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to dive 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.
The reason for this is that it will normally take a bit of time before you adjust to your new hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s hard to be patient.
The good news is, there are a few tips that can help quicken the transition process. Pretty soon, with a bit of practice, you will be paying attention to what you’re hearing instead of your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
Regardless of how technologically advanced they might be, it’s going to take your brain a little while to get used to hearing certain sounds again. Here are some ways you can deliberately give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Use your hearing aids for a short period of time: When you’re just beginning, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for just a few hours at a time. They may feel a little funny at first (this is normal), so it’s good to start slowly. You can begin to use your hearing aids for longer periods as you become accustomed to them.
- Wear your hearing aids only around the house at first: When you’re at home, you have a lot more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll likely experience substantially less noise pollution. This means you can concentrate on one voice at a time.
- Focus on one-on-one conversations first: You may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you wear your hearing aids in a crowded setting on the first day. When the brain has to pay attention to all those voices, it can become overloaded at first. By beginning with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition smoother and also get a little additional practice.
Tips that help you get added practice in
As with any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are a few activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. You may even have some fun!
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the print version: This is a very similar exercise (and lets you get in some fun reading while you’re at it). Reading and listening to an audiobook concurrently will help your brain make associations between sounds and words.
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: Turn the TV on, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. As you read the dialog you’ll also be hearing the characters speak, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This kind of practice will help you get used to understanding speech again.
- Simply practice hearing: That’s right: Go somewhere a little quiet and experience the sounds around you. Begin by focusing on the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds singing or nearby running water.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Of course, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your hearing as healthy as you can. 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.:
- Keep visiting us: You may not think you need to get hearing assessments anymore after you get your hearing aids. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to watch your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. It’s important to continue with these follow up appointments.
- Be sure to take note of and report any pain: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So if you’re noticing any pain or something’s not fitting right, it’s important to report it as soon as possible.
Go slow and maximize your time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids
Working your way up to using your hearing aids full time is the goal here. Everyone’s different but the slow and steady approach often works best. You’ll want to get personalized advice from us on the best way for you to get accustomed to your new hearing aid.
Sticking with these tips (and tips like them) can help make sure that you enjoy having your hearing aids and that you keep wearing them because they continue to improve your life.