Welcome to a new world of clear sounds. If you’ve just been fitted for new hearing aids, you’re well on your way to experiencing clarity and confidence.
With new hearing aids, sounds are suddenly clearer and speech is more easily recognizable. Though the benefits of hearing aids are immediate, the process of adjusting to them will take some time. Here are a few tips for adjusting to your new hearing aids.
Start Slowly with a Few Hours a Day
Most people tend to wait an average of seven years from the time they first experience changes in their hearing until they decide to seek treatment. During this time, people may become used to the muffled sounds in their surroundings and the incomplete or incoherent sentences in conversation.
When you first put in your hearing aids, you may become overwhelmed with the volume and clarity of sound. Because hearing happens in the brain, it actually takes time for you to get used to the amplified sounds. Our sense of hearing allows us to locate sounds from different directions. Experiencing the multitude of sounds in your environment may be disorienting at first. Additionally, it may take some time to get used to the different features available to help you hear.
We recommend that you start slowly with your new hearing aids. Wear them in a quiet environment, preferably at home, for just a few hours a day. Work your way up to wearing them all day – and outside.
Wear Your Aids in Quiet Spaces
Begin wearing your hearing aids at home in a quiet room. Because sounds are more clearly amplified with your hearing aids, it could be overwhelming to enter a noisy space right away, without getting used to them. First wear them in your bedroom, then perhaps take them down to the kitchen for breakfast with your family. Get used to how commonplace sounds register with your hearing aids, from a knock on the door to a creak on the stairs.
Don’t Adjust the Volume
Does everything sudden sound so loud? If you’re tempted to turn down the volume, wait just a minute. The reality is, things aren’t loud – with hearing aids, they sound the volume that they are. During your hearing test and hearing aid fitting, our hearing specialists have determined the best level for your specific hearing abilities. Try to get used to experiencing sounds at the proper volume. If you experience far too much discomfort, contact us at Bay Area Hearing Services for an adjustment.
Practicing Speech Recognition
It’s probably been awhile since you’ve heard a conversation clearly, whether over the phone or in person. With your new hearing aids, there are features that provide you access to clear, unfettered speech. This is especially useful in social settings, where you’ll eventually be able to identify different speakers and the direction from which speech sounds come.
In the meantime, it takes some practice to become comfortable with speech sounds. Your own voice may sound strange with your new aids. Practice reading aloud to yourself while wearing your hearing aids to familiarize yourself with your own voice.
Once you grow a little more comfortable, invite a few friends over for tea or coffee! If it’s more comfortable, start with a one-on-one hang out first. Use this opportunity to get used to different speakers’ voices, while catching up with the latest news and gossip in the process! Notice how cohesive your conversations are now, and how awesome it is not to ask people to repeat themselves.
Use Your Hearing Aids on the Phone
Hearing loss can be an isolating experience – so with your new hearing aids, why not reconnect with your social circles? Practice using your hearing aids while on the phone. Use this opportunity to try out different positions of holding your phone to your ear. If you use wireless, smartphone-compatible hearing aids, try streaming the conversation directly to your ears. For more information on wireless hearing aids, ask your hearing specialist at Bay Area Hearing Services.
Experiment with Different Environments
Over time, you will become more comfortable with your hearing aids in your home environment. Now’s the time to take your hearing aids out for a spin. Start small, with a walk around the block. Pay attention to the many different sounds that are now available to you, from the chirping of a bird to traffic a few blocks away.
Try your hearing aids during a short drive, and work your way up to louder environments, such as the grocery store or a lunch date or the movies. You will gradually become more comfortable with your hearing aids in a number of different environments.
Wear Your Hearing Aids Daily
The time will come when it is unimaginable to go about your day without hearing aids. Imagine someone with poor eye sight leaving the house without their contact lenses or glasses! After you’ve become fully comfortable with your hearing aids, make sure that you wear them every day. Regular use of your hearing aids is beneficial not only to your hearing, but to your cognitive abilities as well.
For more information or assistance on adjusting to new hearing aids, contact us at Bay Area Hearing Services. We’re here to support you on your journey to better hearing health.