You have just made the crucial decision to get a hearing aid. Now you ask the question: what’s next? Do you just follow the instructions you received with your hearing aid and expect everything to feel ‘normal’? The truth is it may take a few weeks before you are fully comfortable with your new device. Everyone adapts differently to their first pair of hearing aids. Here are a few helpful tips to make your transition easier.
The New Normal with Hearing Aids
Adjusting to hearing aids is no different from adjusting to a new pair of glasses or contact lenses. It takes a little time to adapt because it feels strange. You need to give yourself time to get used to the new amplified volume and the booming sound of your voice. When you have your consultation with your specialist, they will make sure your hearing aid’s volume is adjusted and to your liking. Don’t try to make the volume too loud because it can hinder your understanding of conversations and cause unnecessary strain. Make sure you are participating in your normal day-to-day group discussions as it will help you gain experience and comfort with your new surrounding sounds. It is important to test them out on the phone, movie theaters, restaurants, and any new atmospheres to get a feel of how you can filter out unwanted noises in order to concentrate on your conversations. It is also important to stick with a routine and wear your hearing aids everywhere to give yourself the best possible chance at quickly adapting.
Realistic Expectations for Wearing Hearing Aids
It is important to know that hearing aids are not a cure for hearing loss; they are only tools to help better your hearing. If you have experienced significant hearing loss, it might be your natural inclination to become disappointed or frustrated when your hearing is not restored to 100 percent. You cannot reverse hearing loss, but you can give yourself a chance to better understand the world around you. Do not try to understand a soft conversation from a considerable distance. Even ears with 100 percent hearing capacity may not be able hear their conversation! You should not expect to hear everything perfectly after getting hearing aids, because even people with normal hearing need to have sentences or words repeated for maximum understanding. Your brain needs time to make sense of the new sounds you are hearing. Everything may seem too loud or overwhelming, but you should not give up! Over time, your brain will learn to turn down its internal volume control so these sounds become manageable.
Hearing Aid Checkups and Maintenance
Similar to your car, hearing aids require maintenance. You should handle your hearing device with care by storing in a cool/dry place, changing the battery and filters when needed, and removing excess earwax by cleaning gently according to your instructions. After a few months of trying them out, scheduling an appointment with your audiologist to get them checked and cleaned should be at the top of your list! You should also schedule a re-evaluation of your hearing to make sure there are no significant changes and to evaluate any needed changes to your hearing aid habits.
Adjusting to your new life with hearing aids will take time and it will not be perfect at first. Once you establish a consistent and healthy habit with your device, you will be able to hear better than you did before!
Contact Hear Again Hearing Aids specialists for more information about your adjustment period and scheduling your free hearing evaluation.