Hearing loss generally comes on gradually, but can become debilitating over time if not dealt with accordingly. Making the wise decision to get hearing aids to enhance your hearing capability is an excellent solution to prevent severe hearing impairment and irreparable damage. However, you should not expect to just pop in hearing aids and have your hearing abilities immediately restored. Adapting to a new hearing aid device is an ongoing process and a bit of patience and effort is required to achieve maximum results.
6 Useful Tips for a Smooth Adjustment to New Hearing Aids
To help prevent getting discouraged by the transition to feeling comfortable with your new hearing aids, there are several helpful hints to make the process a little smoother.
One trick to getting comfortable with new hearing aids is to wear them only a few hours a day while you are still getting used to them. This helps to get familiarized with the feel of wearing the device without getting annoyed by it. Eventually though, you will want to wear your hearing aids the whole time you are awake so the brain can be retrained to interpret sounds in both noisy and quiet settings.
Avoid Noisy Crowds at First
Keeping in line with starting out slowly, it is a good idea to first test out your new device in a comfortable quiet environment. This helps the brain adjust gradually without being overwhelmed with too much stimulation at once.
Allow Time to Adjust to the Physical Sensation
Wearing hearing aids is going to feel a little strange at first until your body gets used to the physical sensation of wearing them. At first, you will likely be very conscious of the fact that you are wearing the device. This initial awkward feeling will soon pass until you eventually don’t even notice you are wearing them.
Avoid Manual Adjustments
Hearing aids are designed to adjust automatically to your surroundings so it best to let that process occur naturally. It may be tempting to turn up the volume to hear quieter sounds, but that can actually detract from the functionality of the device and even cause further hearing damage.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are many scenarios that can help you practice getting used to your new hearing aids. Implementing these strategies into daily routines is a good way to get acclimatized.
- Start out with one-on-one conversations and ramp up to small groups
- Interaction with friends and family offers familiarity while getting used to sound associations and vocal patterns
- Listen while reading
- An effective technique for learning a new language, this is a great way to help the brain connect specific sounds to words
- Use the closed captioning option while watching TV
- Simultaneously listen to an audio recording of a book while reading
- Reading aloud to yourself will help in getting used to how your own voice sounds through the device
- Listen to your environment with your eyes closed
- Practice trying to distinguish sounds and the direction they are coming from with your eyes closed
- Practice talking on the phone while wearing your hearing aids
Ramp Up to All Day Comfortable Wear
Consistent wear is extremely important for maximizing the performance and functionality of your hearing aids. Once you are comfortable with the feel and sound of your device, it is recommended to wear it during all waking hours. This is the best way to ensure you are just as comfortable in noisy areas as you are in quiet ones, and that the optimal range of sounds is being detected and interpreted accurately.