You finally obtained those new hearing aids. You’re so thrilled to be able to dive into your social life again. No more bad transitions or unclear conversations. But there’s an issue: everything sounds just a little off.
That’s because it’ll most likely take you a while to adjust to a new set of hearing aids. Sometimes, this transition can be annoying. After all, there was so much you were looking forward to, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
But there are several tips you can practice to decrease this transition period. Pretty soon, with a little practice, you will be paying attention to what you’re hearing rather than your hearing aids.
Start slowly with these tips
No matter how technologically advanced they may be, it’s going to take your brain a little while to adjust to hearing certain sounds again. Here are some ways you can purposely give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Start by using 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 degree of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This means you can concentrate on one voice at a time.
- Only use your hearing aids for short amounts of time to begin with: A few hours at a time is the most you should wear your hearing aids when you first start out. They may 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 get more comfortable, you can wear them for longer durations.
- At first, try to focus on one-on-one conversations: You might be setting yourself up for disappointment if you wear your hearing aids in a crowded setting on the first day. It’s just that it’s difficult for your ear and brain to deal with focusing on all those different voices. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition easier (and give you a bit of extra practice, as well).
Tips that help you get extra practice in
Similar to 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 fun!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions on: It’s easy: put in your hearing aids, flip on the TV, and watch your favorite show. As you read the words you’ll also be hearing the characters talk, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This can give you some practice hearing and adjusting to speech.
- Just practice hearing: 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 singing or nearby running water.
- Read along with the printed version while you listen to the audiobook.: This similar exercise can also be quite enjoyable. Your brain will learn to make associations between sounds and words by employing this read along strategy.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Obviously, one of the purposes of hearing aids is to keep your ears as healthy as possible. But, as you take some time to get accustomed to your new hearing aids, there are a few things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- If you’re experiencing any pain, make sure you take note of it and tell us about it.: Because it shouldn’t be painful to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to let us know about any problems with fit or any pain right away.
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to think that once you’ve got the right hearing aids, you won’t need to have anymore hearing exams. 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 essential to continue with these follow up appointments.
Be patient, and work up to full-time hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to wearing your hearing aids all of the time. A slow and progressive approach works quite often, but everyone’s unique. 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 have a more enjoyable and enriched life with your new hearing aids.