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 groove of your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing elements of conversations or going through uncomfortable transitions. But there’s an issue: everything sounds a little bit off.
That’s because it’ll probably take you a while to adjust to a new pair of hearing aids. This can be an annoying transition. After all, there was so much you were excited to do, and that adjustment period just feels so slow.
Luckily, there are a few tips that can help speed up the transition process. Before long, with a bit of practice, you will be focusing on what you’re hearing instead of your hearing aids.
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. Here are some ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and start things off slowly:
- Only wear your hearing aids for short periods of time to begin with: When you’re just beginning, 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 slowly. As your hearing aids become more comfortable, you can use them for longer durations.
- Initially, try to focus on one-on-one conversations: You could be setting yourself up for frustration if you wear your hearing aids in a noisy environment on the first day. When the brain needs to pay attention to all those voices, it can become overwhelmed at first. By starting out with one-on-one conversations you will make the transition easier and also get a little additional practice.
- Begin by using your hearing aids at home only: You’ll be less likely to experience noise pollution at home and you will be able to have a greater amount of control over the sounds you’re hearing. This will help you focus on individual voices.
Get extra practice with these tips
As with 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, turn 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 begin to remember what all these words sound like. This sort of practice will help you adjust to understanding speech again.
- Listen to an audiobook while you read the printed book: This is a very similar exercise (and lets you get in 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.
- Just practice hearing: That’s right: Go someplace a little quiet and experience 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. And there are some tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get used to wearing your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: You may not think you need to get hearing exams anymore after you get your hearing aids. This would be a bad idea. We can continue to track your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. It’s essential to continue with these follow up visits.
- Be certain to note and report any pain: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to report any issues with fit or any pain right away.
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 objective here. A slow and progressive strategy works quite often, but everybody’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.
Sticking with 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 improve your life.