Are you new to hearing aids? Have you recently updated your hearing aids to a new pair?
Wherever you are in the journey to healthy hearing, the experience of new hearing aids may at first be disorienting. Our brains get used to “hearing” a certain way, and when we take steps to improve our hearing abilities, it may take some time.
With patience and support from your loved ones, you’ll be hearing clearly in no time! Here are a few tips for getting used to hearing aids.
Start with a Few Hours a Day
Hearing happens in the brain. Our ears pick up and conduct sound, amplifying it and sending neural messages to the brain to be registered as sound we recognize. As a result, when you experience a hearing loss, your brain’s neural pathways may not be fully used and thus, you get used to hearing sounds as muddled or unclear.
Hearing aids provide the brain with clear sound signals and require an adjustment period. Designed to cancel out noise and improve speech intelligibility and directionality, hearing aids help us capture the sounds in our environment and at first, it could be overwhelming to hear a richer picture of sound than we’re used to.
Begin by wearing your new hearing aids for a few hours a day. Your brain must re-train to hear these sounds, which may require a bit of effort.
Wear Your Aids in Quiet Spaces
With your new hearing aids, sounds are more clearly amplified and it could be overwhelming to wear them in loud public spaces at first. Start wearing your hearing aids around the house first before taking them out on the town. This will also give you to the opportunity to experience the nuanced differences in sound with your new hearing aids.
Leave the Volume Levels Alone
Though everything may sound very loud, avoid changing the volume on your hearing aids. When you were fitted for your aids, your hearing specialist determined the best level to appropriately meet your hearing abilities. With your new hearing aids, you are accessing sounds that you haven’t heard in a while, as well as a clarity and volume of sound that you have not experienced in a while. It is not the volume level that is the problem. Give your brain time to get used to the different levels of sound in your environment.
In the event that your hearing aid prescription is off the mark, visit us at Preferred Hearing Centers so that one of our team members can check your prescription and hearing aid settings.
Practice Listening to Your Own Voice
We don’t often pay attention to our internal head sounds, but with new hearing aids, you may notice the strangeness of hearing your own voice as you speak! Hearing aids could make your own voice appear louder in your head. Get used to the sounds of your own voice by reading a book aloud to yourself while you’re wearing your hearing aids.
Practice Hearing in Conversation
Once you grow more comfortable with your aids, invite a few friends over for coffee or tea. Practice following and listening to conversations. You’ll find that your hearing aids do a great deal to improve speech recognition. Try making a few phone calls with your hearing aids too! Over time, this will help reconnect you to your loved ones.
Practice Listening Exercises
Your hearing aids provide a number of different features to help you hear better, depending on the environment. Get accustomed to the many different features available by learning to control your hearing aids. Become familiar with the features offered and try them out in different settings. In practicing listening exercises, notice the direction from which sounds come and try out different features in the same scenario – hear the difference!
Wear Your Hearing Aids Every Day
People with poor eyesight don’t leave the house without their eyeglasses or contact lenses. It should be no different with your hearing aids. In addition to connecting you to your family and friends, hearing aids actually keep us safe. Our sense of hearing is crucial in all aspects of our lives.
Make it a habit to put your hearing aids in at the same time of day. As you get more comfortable with your aids, wear them for longer periods of time until you can wear them all day. In the evening, make sure to care for your hearing aids as instructed.
Are you new to hearing aids or adjusting to a new pair? Contact us at Preferred Hearing Centers for support. Our friendly team is here to help!