8 Tips for Getting Comfortable with New Hearing Aids
Wearing hearing aids can have an undeniable impact to improve your life in many ways. Not only will you be able to participate in more conversations with your loved ones, but it feels good to hear the sounds of the birds in the morning and the giggles of children in the other room.
When you have been living with hearing loss for an extended time, then there is an adjustment period to get used to the new sounds you will experience with hearing aids. Even though this assistive technology can upgrade your overall experience, many patients find that wearing hearing aids can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning.
But just because you are feeling discomfort with your new hearing aids, doesn’t mean that you should stop using them. Instead, give yourself time to adjust and be proactive about a few simple steps that can help you get comfortable with this assistive technology.
In the Beginning: What to Expect with Hearing Aids
Not only do you need to get comfortable with the new sounds that will be coming through the hearing aids, but it can also feel unusual to have the physical sensation of something in your ear. Hearing aids change your experience abruptly, but rest assured knowing it gets easier and easier with time.
There is a “familiarization” phase when you notice that everything sounds different. Loud noises might seem surprisingly disruptive. Or, you might feel like the sound of your own voice is unusual. In certain circumstances, noises that you are familiar with might seem different. Your brain needs to re-learn how to ignore background noises so you can shut them out when necessary. It takes time to become more familiar to the way things will sound going forward.
The best thing you can do is to follow the audiologist’s recommendations for this adjustment period. You will have specific instructions regarding how many hours a day to wear them, maintenance and cleaning, adjusting the settings, and more.
Most people can adjust to hearing aids within a few weeks. But it may take a few months to get fully accustomed to your hearing aids. The most important thing to remember is that you must be patient with yourself and this process. If you ever have questions or concerns, then our team is always here to assist.
Tips for the Transition with New Hearing Aids
You want to be successful with your new hearing aids. These tips can help with the adjustment period so you can feel more comfortable wearing your hearing aids throughout the day.
- Give Your Brain and Ears Time to Adjust: There are many auditory stimuli that will seem unusual, such typing on a keyboard or the rustling of leaves. Since you haven’t been able to hear these sounds, the brain forgot how to handle the ambient noises. When you start wearing hearing aids, you’ll need time to allow the sound-processing centers to re-learn how to filter out certain sounds. Continue gaining experience by wearing the hearing aids… don’t give up too soon!
- Slowly Build Up Time: You aren’t going to start wearing your hearing aids all day long. Instead, most people need to start with shorter sessions, then increase the time each day. For example, the first day you might wear the hearing aids for 2 hours. Then increase your sessions by 1 – 2 hours each day until you are comfortable wearing the hearing aids all day long.
- Take a Break When Feeling Overwhelmed: If you start to feel too overwhelmed by the noises, then consider removing the hearing aids for a few minutes to give yourself a break. But always replace the hearing aids soon so that you can continue getting used to them. Be patient with yourself and remember that it’s ok to take a break when needed.
- Proactively Care for Your Hearing Aids: Work with your audiologist so you are comfortable inserting and removing your hearing aids. Practice these skills regularly so it feels second-nature to use them. Also, be proactive about cleaning and maintenance so you can protect your ears and avoid complications.
- Practice Listening to Different Noises: Take time to stay present and see how you can identify different noises in the environment. As you are getting used to sounds like the fridge humming, doors opening, or a tea pot boiling, it can be helpful to identify what the sounds are. Your brain will learn that these sounds are typical, then it can learn to filter out the background noises.
- Adjust Settings When Needed: In the beginning, try using your hearing aids in a quiet setting at home. When you can control the noises around you, it’s easier to find the ideal hearing aid settings that work for your individual needs. Then, you can learn how to adjust these settings as needed in social environments, outdoors, and more.
- Practice with Technology: Try using different technology devices to see how it feels. For example, wear your hearing aids and turn on the TV or radio or call a friend on the phone. Some hearing aids come with assistive features, such as an option to connect Bluetooth with a cell phone.
- Talk to Different People: Start with conversations with friend and family, since they will be patient and understanding as you a learning to use these new hearing aids. In the beginning, it’s best to limit the conversations to 1 or 2 people and stay in an environment without background noise. Explain at the beginning of the conversation that you are adjusting to new hearing aids and let them know if there is anything they can do to help in the conversation.
Need Help with Hearing Aids?
If you suspect that you need to wear hearing aids, or you are learning how to adjust to your new hearing aids, then our team at Fairfax Hearing Center is here to help. We offer customized solutions and personalized care for every patient. Our goal is to help you improve your overall experience so you can enjoy quality hearing throughout your day.
We invite you to contact us at Fairfax Hearing Center when you are ready to book a consultation with a hearing specialist.