It’s tempting to think that the search for great hearing ends once you find the right device. However, hearing aids don’t work like glasses, and it takes some time to get used to them whether you are a seasoned wearer of hearing aids or they are your first pair.
A new set of hearing aids can be disorienting at first. Even if you’ve worn hearing aids before you could be put off by a new device at first. It will take some time for your brain and auditory processing center to adapt to the newfound clarity you are experiencing.
Here are a few pointers to help you adapt better to your new sound palette.
Manage your expectations
From the moment they face hearing loss, many individuals wait an average of seven years before they begin to treat it. Your brain may have grown accustomed to muffled sound signals during this period. If you’ve been waiting for some time to manage your hearing loss, witnessing all the sounds clearly with hearing loss can be daunting at first. Getting used to your new pair of hearing aids may take some time, so be patient with yourself and adjust your expectations about how quickly you will be able to hear more normally.
It is essential not to overload yourself with sound when you first get your aids.
Start wearing your aids in the quiet of your own home a few hours a day. Use them in various rooms of your home and find out which programs work best in different rooms. You’ll start to note each space’s acoustic differences. Work your way up to wearing your aids for more extended periods over time.
Introducing some louder and more dynamic sounds into your setting could be the next step.
Try watching some TV, but be sure to start at a low volume. You may have become used to listening at a loud volume to the television and the newfound ability to listen may make the old volume of the television intimidating.
Try turning on the radio, a speaker system, or other musical instruments to play music. The experience may sound different for each of these units and don’t hesitate to fiddle with the volume on each. It is essential to remember to use your hearing aids at the volume level recommended by your Audiologist so if the music or TV is too loud, turn those things down – and not your hearing aids.
Practice makes perfect
New hearing aid users often comment on how strange it is to hear their own voice. Unfortunately, this will be the case for most hearing aids. Reading aloud to yourself or having a one-on-one talk with a friend helps you get better acquainted with your own voice.
Once you are ready, try a conversation with colleagues. Invite a small group of people over coffee or tea and try a quieter, small group talk with your hearing aids. Take this opportunity to improve the various features that your hearing aids provide to better explain speech sounds in different environments.
As your confidence level increases go outside with your hearing aids. Go for a stroll around the block and hear the sounds of your neighborhood. Choose a destination such as a library, coffee shop, post office, or grocery store and practice using your hearing aids when engaging with customer service members.
Keep track of your hearing experience
It’s essential to keep track of how your hearing aid is working for you. If you find something out of the ordinary or face problems with your hearing instrument picking up on specific sounds, write down when and where it happens. Be mindful of any strange sounds that come from the hearing system such as feedback.
Keeping a record of this will make it easier for our team to identify the problem, quickly change the programming on your hearing aid (if indicated) or recommend a more effective hearing aid for your needs.
It will take some time to get used to your hearing aids.
Bear in mind that the fitting of hearing aids is often a continuous process.
Your audiologist may need to work with you for weeks after your initial appointment to ensure that your hearing aids perform correctly and are a comfortable fit to suit your hearing needs. To adjust more quickly, be sure to communicate your needs with us and to regularly wear your devices. Eventually, they will become an essential part of your life!
Ready to get started? Our team at The Hearing Health Center of Houston is here to help you get on the path to better hearing. Contact us today!