Adjusting to hearing aids: Advice for you and those you care for

When you or a loved one starts using hearing aids, it can be a big adjustment. This is the same for whether you are using them or whether you are living with someone who has just got them. You need to allow for a little bit of an adjustment period. The first few days with your new hearing aids can cause you some stress but this need not be the case. Do not give up on your devices straight away and don’t let your relatives give up on them if they are struggling with them. Here are a few tips on how to adjust to your new hearing aids. 

Let your ears adjust

Just like when you get new glasses and you need to get used to the feel of them on your nose and ears, you need to let your ear canals adjust to your new hearing aids. You will likely be able to feel the devices in your ears, but this is because it is something new invading your ear when it is used to having nothing in it. If you are wearing ones that sit over your ears, then you may have issues wearing your hearing aids at the same time. You need to be able to give it a little bit of time to adjust to your new look. 

Take your time

When you first start wearing them, you should only wear them for a few hours a day when you are in a comfortable environment. Medical professionals recommend that you try and wear them when you are working. This will help distract you from the uncomfortableness of the new hearing aids. When you begin, you should try and pick out regular sounds that you hear regularly and filter out the background noise that accompanies day-to-day life. The more you wear your hearing aids, even in quieter situations, the more used to hearing aids, you will get your brain more acclimated to them. 

Start in quiet rooms

On the very first day, you should spend your time in a quiet room so that you can begin getting used to hearing faint sounds such as the closing of doors, doorbells, and clocks. They may seem unnaturally loud when you hear them at first because your brain has become accustomed to not hearing them or only hearing them faintly. This will help your brain adjust to the sensation of hearing a little bit more. You should write down noises that you hear and those that you want to start blocking out. You should check this list regularly and see if you still notice them. 

Keep the volume steady

When you first get your hearing aids, you will want to alter the volume so that you can adjust to different listening situations. However, these days many hearing aids automatically adjust to the situation and help you move into new locations. When you mess with the volume, you run the risk of making the volume too loud or quiet and hurting yourself and your ears.

Talking to groups of people

You should begin having conversations with your friends and families in a group setting. You are more likely to identify familiar voices and be able to differentiate them a little bit easier. Even with hearing aids, you still need to take part in active listening. You need to make sure to face the speaker when they are talking so that you have a better chance of hearing them. Using your automatic lip-reading skills, your brain can connect the dots between the sounds, lip patterns, and nonverbal body language.

Watching television

When you are watching television in a group, you should test out your hearing aids by watching the television. You should not need to turn it up more than what the average person does. Ask someone else to find you an appropriate volume and use that as your average television volume. Also, you could watch the tv with the subtitles on. This will help you reconnect sounds and language. It will also help you see the way words are formed in the mouth and this can help with your lip-reading skills.

Audiobooks and reading

Something that is similar to reading captions on the tv and watching it, is to listen to the audio recording of a book that you are reading at the same time. This will help you gauge volumes and help you understand different pronunciations of words. You can also try reading aloud to yourself. It will be tough to adjust to hearing your own voice, but you will get used to it after a few days. It will also help you to begin speaking at an appropriate level> This is something that many people new to hearing aids struggle with.

Utilize the looping system

Many social settings utilize the looping systems that emit wireless signals to be received by the hearing aids. Places like churches, theaters, and the cinema. Some telephones come with it as well. You should ask your hearing provider if your devices have a telecoil that allows for the looping process to work. Medical professionals can fit and program your device for you and make sure that they are working properly.

Wearing hearing aids

This can be a huge adjustment for anyone whether it is yourself or a relative. The key is to be patient. It will feel unusual at first, but you will become more and more accustomed to it, the more that you use them. Don’t get frustrated early on. There is a large amount that you can do to get used to them. Spend time wearing them for only a couple of hours a day at first and then start working towards longer hours. Also, get help from your friends and family. Ask them to have conversations with you in different situations so that you can adjust your life accordingly. Just make sure to take your time and consult your doctor regularly.

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Emma

It's a little lonely being one of the two female writers here, but I do my best! You'll find me covering everything from relationships to the newest gadget I'm excited about.

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