You’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. You got your new hearing aids. You’re so excited to be able to dive into your social life again. Now, you won’t be missing parts of conversations or going through awkward transitions. But your hearing aids just don’t sound quite right.
That’s because it’ll likely take you some time to adjust to a new pair of hearing aids. Sometimes, this transition can be annoying. You were so excited about enjoying your hearing again and it feels like it’s hard to be patient.
The good news is, there are a few tips that can help speed up the transition process. With a little practice, you can quickly get yourself to a place where you’re thinking less about your hearing aids, and paying more attention to what you’re hearing.
Tips that help you start Slowly
No matter how technologically sophisticated they may be, it’s going to take your brain some time to get used to hearing certain sounds again. Here are some ways you can intentionally give yourself time to adjust and take it slowly:
- Only wear your hearing aids for short periods of time to begin with: A few hours at a time is the most you should use your hearing aids when you first get started. They might feel a little uncomfortable at first (this is normal), so it’s okay to start a little bit at a time. As your hearing aids get more comfortable, you can use them for longer durations.
- At first, try to focus on one-on-one conversations: You may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you wear your hearing aids in a noisy environment on the first day. When the brain needs to focus on all those voices, it can get overwhelmed at first. Staying with one-on-one conversations can help make that transition easier (and give you a bit of extra practice, as well).
- Begin by wearing your hearing aids at home only: When you’re at home, you have a lot more control over what you’re hearing, and you’ll likely experience substantially less noise pollution. This will help you focus on individual voices.
Get added practice with these tips
Much like any other skill (and hearing is a skill, among other things), there are a few activities that can help you practice with your hearing aids. Some of these are even enjoyable!
- Do some listening practice: That’s right: Go someplace a little quiet and experience the sounds around you. Start off by tuning in to the sound of wind blowing through the trees or birds singing or nearby running water.
- Read along with the printed version while you listen to the audiobook.: This is a really similar exercise (and lets you have some fun reading while you’re at it). Your brain will learn to make associations between sounds and words by using this read along strategy.
- Turn on closed-captions when you watch TV: It’s easy: put your hearing aids in, flip on the TV, and watch your favorite show. Your brain will start to remember what certain words sound like when you read along with the voices you’re hearing. This kind of practice will help you get used to understanding speech again.
Tips to keep your hearing health up
Keeping your ears as healthy as you can, after all, is one of the main purposes of hearing aids. And there are a few tips you can do to keep your ears happy as you get accustomed to using your new hearing aid:
- Keep visiting us: There might be a temptation to think that once you have the right hearing aids, you won’t need to see us anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can continue to monitor your hearing, make certain the fit is comfortable, and make any needed adjustments. These follow up appointments are really important.
- Be certain to take note of and let us know about any pain: Because it shouldn’t hurt to wear hearing aids. So it’s important to let us know about any issues with fit or any pain right away.
Go slow and maximize your time as you get used to your hearing aids
Your goal here will be to work your way up to using your hearing aids full time. Everyone’s different but the slow and steady strategy usually works best. You’ll want to get individualized advice from us on the best way for you to get used to your new hearing aid.
These tips will help you live a more enjoyable and enriched life with your new hearing aids.