You finally obtained your new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to jump into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements of conversations or going through uncomfortable transitions. But there’s a problem: everything sounds just a little off.
That’s because it’ll likely take you a while to adjust to a new set of hearing aids. Often, this transition can be frustrating. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
But there are a few tips you can practice to decrease this transition period. With a little 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.
Tips that help you start Slowly
Your brain will take a little time to get accustomed to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Use these tips to start slowly and purposely give your ears time to adapt.:
- Begin by using your hearing aids at home only: When you’re at home, you have a lot more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll likely experience significantly less noise pollution. This means you can concentrate on one voice at a time.
- Only use your hearing aids for short amounts of time at first: When you’re just starting, you can practice by wearing your hearing aids for just a few hours at a time. They may feel a little uncomfortable at first (this is normal), so it’s good to start slowly. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can use them for longer periods of time.
- Initially, try to focus on one-on-one conversations: If you wear your hearing aids while dining at a crowded restaurant on your first day using the devices, you may be disappointed, not because the devices are doing anything wrong. When the brain has to pay attention to all those voices, it can become overwhelmed at first. Sticking to one-on-one conversations can help make that transition smoother (and give you a bit of extra practice, too).
Get additional practice with these tips
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 could even have a little fun!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: put your hearing aids in, flip on the TV, and watch your favorite show. Your brain will start to remember what certain words sound like as you read along with the voices you’re hearing. This can give you some practice hearing and getting used to speech.
- Read along with the printed version while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a very 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 connections between words and sound.
- Just practice hearing: That’s right: sit in a quiet place and let your ears do the hearing. You can practice by concentrating on trying to hear the refrigerator running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds singing outside.
Strengthen your hearing health with these tips
Keeping your ears as healthy as possible, after all, is one of the main purposes of hearing aids. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get used to using your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to presume that once you have the right hearing aids, you won’t need to see us anymore. This would be a bad idea. We can help adjust your hearing aids, keep the fit comfortable, and continue to keep an eye on your hearing. These follow up visits are very important.
- Be certain to take note of and report any pain: Your hearing aids shouldn’t be painful. So it’s important to let us know about any issues with fit or any pain right away.
Be patient, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Working your way up to wearing your hearing aids full time is the goal here. A slow and steady strategy is often effective, but everyone’s different. You’ll want to get individualized advice from us on the best way for you to get accustomed to your new hearing aid.
These tips will help you live a more enjoyable and enriched life with your new hearing aids.