Tips for getting used to your first hearing aid
You may be surprised to hear that getting your first set of hearing aids can take some getting used to. Our brains adapt and compensate for hearing loss quickly, so suddenly hearing all the sounds you’ve been missing can be overwhelming. Your ears need to get used to the sensation of wearing the device, too.
The first week with your new hearing aid is crucial to the success and satisfaction you gain from your hearing device; the first few days can influence whether or not you continue to wear them regularly.
Follow these tips to increase your chances of getting on with your new hearing aids, so you can enjoy all your life experiences to the fullest.
- Your voice will sound different at first – so prepare for it!
One of the first things you may notice when trying your new aids out may be how different your voice sounds to you! It can be a bit jarring – it may sound funny or unfamiliar – and of course, sound much louder than usual. Chewing and swallowing will also become more noticeable. As obvious as it seems, the best way to overcome this sensation is to wear your hearing aids regularly, you will then get used to the changes and the sounds will dissipate as your brain gets used to the new range of hearing you have.
- Take it slow and steady:
When you first start wearing your hearing aids, schedule a few hours a day where you know you’ll practice with them. Don’t try wearing them all day immediately as this may overwhelm you and put you off wearing them regularly in future. You could even try setting time aside to try them on for a few hours and give yourself tasks, like trying to locate the sources of all the sounds in your environment, or listening to audio books or talk radio while you're home alone. Slowly build the time that you wear them for, and you’ll soon find yourself used to this new world of sounds!
- Practice makes perfect:
Start by using your hearing aids in familiar, comfortable environments. Have conversations with your close friends and family where you practice active listening, as familiar voices are the easiest to identify. Active listening is when you ensure you face the person you’re speaking with and look right at them while they're talking – this can be helpful as it will help your brain reconnect the dots between sounds, vocal patterns, and nonverbal body language.
- Turn the telly down!
Now that you have hearing aids, you shouldn’t need your TV set to the blaring decibels it’s previously been at. Ask someone else to turn the TV down to a more appropriate volume and try to keep it at that level. Turning on the subtitles as you watch would be a useful way to help retrain your brain to connect sounds with language, so don’t be afraid to do this.
- Attend your follow up appointments:
You’ll want to see your hearing care professional (hopefully you are a client of ours), for as many follow-up visits as you need to fine-tune the sounds you’re hearing, adjust the fit in your ear and talk about the situations that are most challenging for you. Most people visit their Audiologist about two weeks after their first fitting to get their devices fine-tuned and to adjust the volume if necessary.
Finally - Be patient with yourself!
Anticipate and prepare yourself for frustration in the first few weeks of getting a new hearing aid. In the long run, it will be completely worth it, but remember it’s OK to feel overwhelmed by the overload of new sounds that your brain’s not been registering for a long time! The hum of electric fans, background chatter – there are lots of noises and sounds that your brain will have forgotten how to tune out. Take it slowly, be gentle with yourself, and allow your brain to adjust – it will be worth it! CONTACT US HERE