If you’ve been living with untreated hearing loss, getting hearing aids can be a big step. Adjusting to your new devices can seem strange and uncomfortable at first. Part of the process of adapting to hearing aids is reintroducing your brain to hearing which can take a little time and practice. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started with wearing new hearing aids.
Ramp Up Your Hearing Aid Time
Adjusting to the feel of a hearing aid may take a little getting used to, but wearing them consistently is key to rehabilitating your hearing. If your hearing aid isn’t comfortable to you at first, begin by only wearing your devices for a few hours each day. After three days of minimal use, start keeping them in for an additional hour each day. Ramp up over the course of two weeks or so, from wearing them 2-3 hours a day to wearing them full-time, during all your waking hours. The gradual approach lets your ears ease into the way a hearing aid feels and how it rests on the ear.
Tune In On Small Noises
When you first get hearing aids you’re going to have to re-teach yourself how to hear sounds and place them in an environment. As you begin to adjust to your hearing aids give yourself some hearing practice time in a quiet space. Concentrate on hearing small and soft sounds within the space and try to figure out the source of the sound. Listening to small sounds reacquaints you with a nuanced sound range that will help you sort out the complexities of sound in busier environments. Being able to place sounds is an essential part of following conversation and prioritizing sounds in an environment.
How To Recognize Speech
An early experiment with vocal recognition software famously interpreted the phrase “How to recognize speech” as “How to wreck a nice beach”. The software really can’t be blamed – interpreting speech is indeed complicated and subtle. Rather than running the risk of wrecking a nice beach yourself, you may want to develop a practice routine with your new hearing aids to help you hear speech and conversation better.
A great way to practice this is by linking the words you hear with words you read. If you enjoy watching television shows, start turning on closed captioning so you can read the dialogue as you hear it. Another way to practice this is to listen to an audiobook as you simultaneously read it. Some radio programs make transcripts available online where you can simultaneously read and listen to an interview or report. You can also simply curl up in your favorite reading spot and read out loud to yourself. Whatever technique you use, tethering sounds to their written meaning helps smooth the connections required for comprehending speech.
Get To Know Your Device
Be sure you know how to keep your hearing aids clean and powered up. Have your hearing specialist walk you through how to wear and maintain your hearing aids. If your device has a volume control or if it integrates with your smart phone, take time to learn how it works and when to use special features. Don’t mess around with volume settings much as you are adjusting to a new device. Wait until you are comfortable hearing with hearing aids to do any major volume changes.
In the adjustment period you should also be keeping track of noises that may sound annoying or off. If you start a list of these sounds when you first begin wearing new hearing aids, go over the list again once you feel comfortable with your devices. Many people often find the noises that were startling or confusing at the start have become normalized and unobtrusive as your hearing adapts. If any noises continue to be problematic, speak to your hearing specialist about potential adjustments.
Hearing Consultants Is Here For You
If you are having questions about your hearing aids, or if you’ve noticed any changes to your hearing, let Hearing Consultants help. We specialize in personalized hearing solutions alongside comprehensive testing and follow-up. Our expert hearing staff is here for your hearing heath, whenever you need assistance.