If you’ve just gotten a pair of hearing aids – congratulations! Hearing devices are key to rehabilitating your hearing and they help improve your quality of life and health. However, when you first start using hearing aids they may feel and sound surprising to you. New hearing aids may take a little time to adjust to, but with a little effort and practice they will start to feel and sound natural to you.
When hearing loss goes untreated, it changes the way our brain is wired to comprehend sound. With the use of hearing devices you are retraining your brain to understand and interpret sounds that hearing loss made unavailable to you. However,
Commit to Wearing Your Hearing Aids
The single most important tip for adapting to your new hearing aids is to commit to wearing them. Just like practice makes perfect, wearing and using your hearing aids will start to feel more natural the more you make use of them.
If a hearing device feels strange at first, ease into wearing them gradually, but commit to wearing them at least a few hours every day. Start by having them on for a two or three hours and each day gradually increase the time you wear them. After two weeks you should be wearing them comfortably full time.
Getting used to new hearing aids in a noisy environment can be disorienting, so start by using them in calm and quiet spaces. Notice the small environmental sounds you hear with your hearing aid and try to place the source of the sound. Becoming familiar with isolated quiet noises helps you ramp up to hearing well in loud and social environments. Beginning with sounds in a quiet room may also help you notice which noises you may need your hearing aids adjusted for.
Practice Listening to Speech
Hearing speech through your new hearing aids may also take some adjustment. To relearn how to comprehend speech there are several great ways you can practice by yourself.
If you enjoy watching movies or television, turn on subtitles while you tune into your favorite program. Seeing the words as you hear them helps re-establish the link between sound and meaning. Similarly, you can reinforce those comprehension skills by reading a book or magazine out loud so you hear the words as you read them. You can also follow along to an audio recording of a book while reading a text copy. All of these techniques acclimate you to the new way you’ll be hearing with hearing aids and help you recognize and respond to speech.
Have Some Conversations
While practicing speech recognition alone helps, you’ll also want to branch out and start having conversations with your loved ones while using your hearing aids. Before you jump into a bustling dinner party or a class reunion, gradually increase the sonic complexity of conversations.
When you’re first adjusting to your hearing aids start by having one-on-one conversations in quiet settings. When you feel confident, keep the quiet setting but add more people to your chat. In conversation with multiple people, pay attention to where speech is coming from and how your ears locate sound in the space. Having quiet conversation builds your comprehension and prepares you to navigate sound in louder and more complex environments.
Don’t Touch the Volume
While you get used to your new hearing aids, try not to touch the volume – both on your hearing devices and on the appliances around you. Before you leave your hearing specialist, your devices will be set with a comfortable volume level you should be able to adjust to. Ask a hearing friend or relative to help you set your television, computer, stereo and radio volume knobs to comfortable mid-volume levels. Especially while you are adapting to the hearing devices, don’t fiddle with volume controls. Instead, focus and try to get comfortable with the sound levels around you.
Of course, this isn’t about suffering, so if a volume level is much too soft and especially if a volume control is too loud, adjust the level. As much as possible though, concentrate on your hearing and help it focus your comprehension without having to instinctively crank the volume up.
Exceptional Hearing Care
When it comes to hearing wellness, Exceptional Hearing Care has got you covered. We offer comprehensive audiological testing and a full range of hearing solutions. Our staff of hearing specialists is ready to help you hear your best- set up your next hearing exam with us today!