You finally got those new hearing aids. You’re so excited to be able to jump into your social life again. No more missed transitions or unclear conversations. But your hearing aids just don’t seem quite right.
That’s because it’ll probably take you a while to adjust to a new set of hearing aids. Sometimes, this transition can be frustrating. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
Fortunately, there are some tips that can help quicken the transition process. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a place where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and paying more attention to what you’re hearing.
Tips that help you start Slowly
Your brain will take a little while to get used to hearing certain sounds again regardless of how sophisticated your hearing aids are. Here are a few ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Begin 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 probably experience considerably less noise pollution. This will help you concentrate on individual voices.
- Start with one-on-one conversations first: You could be setting yourself up for frustration if you wear your hearing aids in a noisy setting right out of the box. It’s just that it’s hard for your ear and brain to deal with focusing on all those different voices. Sticking to one-on-one conversations can help make that transition smoother (and give you a bit of extra practice, too).
- Only wear your hearing aids for short periods of time at first: A few hours at a time is the most you should use your hearing aids when you first get started. Your hearing aids will most likely feel a little weird in your ears for a while so beginning gradually is fine. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can use them for longer durations.
Get extra practice with these tips
There are some activities, as with any skill, that can help you with hearing aid practice. You may even have some fun!
- Watch TV with the closed-captions enabled: It’s easy: Turn on the TV, put your hearing aids in, and enjoy. As you read the dialog you’ll also be hearing the characters talk, and your brain will start remembering what all these words sound like. This type of practice will help you get used to understanding speech again.
- Just practice hearing: That’s right: Go somewhere a little quiet and take in the sounds around you. You can practice by focusing on trying to hear the fridge running or the cat meowing in the other room or the birds chirping outside.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This is a very similar exercise (and allows you to have some fun reading while you’re at it). Your brain will learn to make associations between sounds and words by employing this read along approach.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Obviously, 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 used to your new hearing aids, there are some things you can do that your ears will thank you for.:
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to presume that once you’ve got the right hearing aids, you won’t need to see us anymore. This would be a bad idea. We can continue to watch your hearing, make sure the fit is comfortable, and make any required adjustments. It’s essential to continue with these follow up appointments.
- If you have any pain, make sure you document it and tell us about it.: Your hearing aids shouldn’t hurt. So it’s important to let us know about any problems with fit or any pain right away.
Be patient, and build up to full-time hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to using your hearing aids all of the time. A slow and steady strategy is often effective, but everybody’s different. Learning the best ways to get comfortable with your new hearing aids is something we can assist you with.
Following 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 enrich your life.