Are you looking forward to trying hearing aids for the first time? If you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss, it can be a hard reality to accept, but the good news is that now you have the information to take action and seek treatment. The most common and effective treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These tiny electronic devices amplify the sounds you struggle with to make it easier to connect to the world around you and the people in it that you love. However, it surprises many people to discover that it takes time to adjust to new hearing aids.
Unlike corrective vision glasses, your hearing won’t be fixed immediately as soon as you put them in. Most people wait at least five to seven years from the time they suspect they have a hearing loss till the time they seek treatment, and in this window, your brain may not be accustomed to hearing lost tones and pitches. Even the sound of your own voice may seem jarring at first. Here are some tips to make your adjustment to using hearing aids easier.
Wear them at home first
When you first start wearing hearing aids, some sounds that you haven’t heard in years may seem jarring and confusing. It can be particularly difficult to separate noises when multiple sounds are happening at once. We recommend starting to use them first in the place where you feel the most comfortable—usually at home. Keep background noise to a minimum at first and focus on having one-on-one conversations. Let the people you live with know you are just starting to use hearing aids and what helps you best communicate. This can include speaking slower than normal and helping to keep a quieter environment in the house while you adjust to this new life change.
Give yourself homework
It takes time to adjust, but you can speed up the process by challenging your brain with some fun exercises with hearing aids. You can start by practicing at home by trying to determine the location of sounds around you. This can help hone your localization skills that will help you be more alert as you navigate the world. Another important skill to practice is differentiating sounds in a noisy environment. Practice listening to an audio book while the radio is on. The more you use these harder to access skills for listening, the easier they will be when you are out in the world with your new hearing aids.
When you start wearing hearing aids it can be exhausting for you and your brain. Your brain is learning all sorts of skills again that it may not have had to do for years. It is okay to take breaks at first. When you start you can take breaks. Try wearing them for a few hours at a time at home and then give yourself a rest. Over two weeks try to slowly build up until you are wearing them all day. Ideally you will want to be wearing your hearing aids from the moment you wake up till it is time to rest—but give yourself some time to get there.
Attend follow-up visits
We have been testing and fitting people for hearing aids for a very long time, and we find that it is difficult to find the perfect programing and fit the very first time. It is a collaborative process of testing and discovering what actually is the most comfortable and functioning for you. This means, be prepared to attend follow up visits. Take notes as you think about it around what is working with your hearing aids and what could be improved. We are dedicated to finding the best programing and fit to support you and your hearing every day, but it may take a few trials to perfect it.
Anticipate some frustration, before eventual success
Adapting to a life with hearing aids, means that you’ll be able to forge stronger relationships with the people closest to you, and continue to be a competitive earner in the workplace. However, it takes time and dedication to get there. Background noise in busy environments will be one of the hardest challenges, but with time your brain can learn to separate and localize sounds. Remember don’t give up! For these and more tips on finding the best hearing solutions for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today!