If you’re lucky enough to have recently been fitted for new hearing aids, congratulations! Hearing specialists estimate that 28.8 million Americans could benefit from hearing aids, while there is an estimated 48 million Americans who experience some degree of hearing loss. With your new hearing aids, you’ll begin to understand and grow accustomed to the benefits of using hearing aids to treat your hearing loss.
During this time, it is essential to keep in mind that adjusting to new hearing aids is a process that requires patience. The benefits of using your aids may not be apparent right away, but as you continue to get used to your hearing aids, you’ll almost forget that you’re wearing them while accessing clear sound in your environment!
Here are a few tips for adjusting to your new hearing aids.
Be patient with your new aids
Many people wait an average of seven years from the time they first experience hearing loss until they decide to treat it. During this time, your brain may have grown accustomed to the muffled sound signals. If you’ve waited for some time to treat your hearing loss, it may be overwhelming at first to experience all of the noises clearly with hearing loss.
Our team tailors your aids to meet your specific hearing needs. Our specialists will have advised you on operating the program settings and volume levels that will accommodate your specific degree and configuration of hearing loss.
Be patient with yourself and start slowly. Switch between program settings to hear the difference. When you first get your aids, it is essential not to overwhelm yourself with sound. It is advised that you do not turn the volume down too much – your aids have been designed to provide you a specific level of sound for your particular hearing loss.
Begin wearing your aids a few hours a day in the quiet of your own home. Next, try out your aids in different rooms of your house, and figure out which programs work best in different rooms. You’ll begin to notice the acoustic differences of each space. Over time, work your way up to wearing your aids for large chunks of time.
After you’ve grown accustomed to wearing your aids and you’re comfortable with your aids in your own home, invite some friends or family over for coffee or tea! Let your loved ones know about this new device in your life and practice conversation.
Speech recognition is one of the biggest challenges of hearing loss, and with hearing aids, you’ll notice a marked difference between your conversations before hearing aids and now. You may find it easier to follow what people are saying, differentiate between everyday speech sounds, anticipate speech patterns, and focus on specific speakers’ voices. As you know, it may be overwhelming to have an extensive group conversation, so start small. Eventually, your aids will be able to keep you in the loop with a big group and multi-conversations – but for now, have one or two loved ones over.
Another essential practice is phone calls. Call up a loved one on the phone and have a conversation. Some hearing aids offer wireless options, which allow you to stream your conversations directly from your smartphones to your hearing aids.
Get accustomed to your ‘Hearing aid voice’
Another thing you’ll notice with hearing aids is that your voice is more apparent in your listening experience. This may be a distracting or frustrating experience at first, but you can get accustomed to your voice with practice.
Grab that new book you’ve meant to read and read aloud to yourself for about an hour. Get used to the way your voice sounds through your aids and how it feels to speak with your aids in.
Wear your hearing aids every day
Over time, as you get more comfortable with your hearing aids, commit to wearing them every day. Most people put in their aids after their morning routines (to avoid getting their aids wet). After getting used to your aids in your home, take them out for a test run on a small errand – to the supermarket or the post office. Practice listening in different environments, and try to identify the location from which sounds come.
Over time, your hearing aid will have become such a natural process of your life that you no longer notice them.
Remember – adjusting to hearing aids is not an overnight process! You’ll find the best ways to adjust to the aids in your life. If you need support or have questions, please feel free to contact us today!