Getting used to change takes time. Hearing aids are no exception. While some new hearing aid users report an almost immediate adjustment to hearing aids, most people need a few weeks to get used to this new way of hearing. Having realistic expectations can help you stay on the path to long-term hearing health.
What should you expect?
New hearing aid wearers are often surprised by the many forgotten sounds they suddenly experience. While most of these sounds - such as birds chirping - are welcome, hearing so much more all at once can be exhausting! The hum of the washing machine may suddenly be unbearably intrusive, while the slam of a door can be shocking. Even your own voice can sound like it's booming inside your head. The good news is, this is absolutely normal during your first weeks with hearing aids and will lessen as your brain learns to interpret and filter sounds correctly.
We recommend keeping a diary of "problem sounds" to take to your appointment and discuss with your Hearing Care Professional. He or she can go over the list to determine which hearing situations are likely to improve with time and which can be helped by recalibrating your hearing aids.
Tips for Training Your Ears
Here are a few tips to help your adjustment to hearing aids go as smoothly as possible:
- Commit to wearing your hearing aids every day no matter what.
- Start by wearing your hearing aid a few hours each day. As you get used to hearing with hearing aids, gradually increase the amount of time until you can wear them from wake to sleep.
- Practice wearing your hearing aids in a quiet home environment for the first few days. Start by identifying unfamiliar sounds and try focusing your attention on the sounds you most want to hear.
- As you acclimate, slowly try a new listening situations, such as visiting friends. Avoid wearing your hearing aids in especially loud situations like restaurants or city traffic until you feel comfortable with your devices.
- Try not to turn the volume farther and farther down when you face discomfort. Doing so can keep you from fully adjusting to your hearing aids.
- Beware of auditory fatigue. Adjusting to this new range of sounds can be surprisingly tiring! Allow the transition happen at its own pace by accepting a small amount of progress each day and giving yourself breaks when needed.