If you’ve just gotten hearing aids: congratulations- you are on the path to healthier hearing! Hearing aids offer new possibilities for people with permanent hearing damage, but getting used to them can be an adventure. Hearing loss causes the brain to change the way it processes sound, adapting to missing information. When hearing aids re-introduce sounds to your hearing your brain needs another re-adjustment period to adapt to a new way of hearing.
Don’t be discouraged by how things first sound through your hearing aids. With a little intention and practice, you can take full advantage of your hearing aids and reap the benefits they offer. Not only will you be better able to communicate, you’ll be easing the strain hearing loss places on your brain and overall health.
The number one tip for getting used to your hearing aids is to wear them consistently. Wearing them not helps you adapt quickly to how they feel in your ear as well as how things sound.
If you are having trouble wearing your hearing aids, commit to gradually integrating them into your routine. Wear them for at least four hours a day, and every day increase that time by an hour or two until you are wearing them consistently through your waking day.
Hold Back On Adjustments
When you received your hearing aids, you should also make a follow-up appointment with your audiologist to tweak the programming and fit of your hearing aids. In the period between appointments, try not to make adjustments to your hearing aids. Your hearing is still adapting to the new devices, and keeping their settings consistent during this period will help you and your hearing specialist better understand what you need changed. Instead of changing the settings of your device, follow our next tip and take notes of your hearing challenges.
When you start wearing hearing aids, some sounds may come across as jarring or unpleasant. Some environments may be especially challenging or overwhelming. Don’t reach to adjust your hearing aids for every situation– instead, for the first few weeks with new hearing aids keep notes of the sounds and places that are difficult or uncomfortable to hear. Try to keep a record of the sounds that are bothering you as you adapt.
Most likely at the end of two weeks, your list will have shrunk as your hearing has adapted itself to the new devices. If problem sounds or discomfort persists at this point, it’s time to talk to your audiologist about making adjustments to the programming and settings of your hearing aids.
We are all used to taking our hearing for granted, but with new hearing aids your brain is literally re-learning how to hear, and intentional practice can help. Practicing by yourself can give you the confidence to navigate conversations with others and help you detect sounds better when you are out in the world.
Start by sitting in a quiet place and listening for everyday sounds. Notice the sounds you hear, what might be making them and the direction they are coming from. Spending time getting used to subtle, quiet sounds gives your brain the space and time to reestablish healthy hearing connections.
Visually reading words while you hear them is another great way to practice, helping with your understanding of speech. Watch television and movies with captioning to help connect spoken words to their meaning. Another way to practice this connection is listening to an audio book while you visually follow the text in a book or e-reader. You can also read books aloud to yourself, which has the added bonus of helping you adjust to the sound of your own voice.
Active Hearing & Audiology
Hearing aids are a big step, and they can vastly improve your quality of life, keeping you connected to the people and things you love most. If you are facing hearing challenges, Active Hearing & Audiology can help you connect with solutions. We bring you outstanding customer care with thorough audiological testing and analysis. Our expert team looks at your personal needs as well as your hearing issues to help you find relief for damaged hearing. Our family-owned business carries a wide selection of the best hearing aid brands in a wide variety of styles. For all your hearing issues, make Active Hearing & Audiology your choice for hearing answers.