Have you recently decided that it’s time to get hearing aids? If so, congratulations for taking the first step on your path to better hearing! However, it is important to realize that when you use hearing aids for the first time, it is natural to feel confused and experience some discomfort. It’s normal for your hearing aids may even feel a bit “funny” at first. Wearing hearing aids for the first time almost always requires an adjustment period, and this is because there may be sounds that you haven’t been able to hear for some time, and your brain needs to adjust to interpreting those sounds again. Many people are not aware of this fact that there may be some discomfort and weirdness at first with your new hearing aids, but with some foresight and patience, you can successfully get adjusted to your hearing device.
Here at the New York Hearing Center, we want your first time using hearing aids to go as smoothly as possible. If you need some help adjusting to your new hearing aids or you are in the process of obtaining your first pair, check out these helpful tips for getting used to hearing aids.
Be Patient– Know that your new hearing aids will take some time and that the process is different for everyone. Not everyone will have the same journey, so don’t despair if your experience isn’t matching up to another person’s first time experience. Remember your brain needs some time to adjust to processing sounds again, so just focus on your improvement and stay positive.
Start Slow– Being gentle with yourself in the beginning and taking it slow is the best way to ease yourself and your brain into wearing your hearing aids full-time. Remember, re-acquiring your hearing ability will take time and practice, but it’s important to start slow in the beginning. At first, only wear your hearing aids for a few hours at a time and try to wear them a bit longer every day.
Start Small– In the beginning, wear your hearing aids for a few hours a day around the house. Never jump into a challenging hearing situation (i.e., shopping malls and busy restaurants), instead start small and take baby steps. Start in your home to get used to the sounds there, and then work your way up to noisy environments. You want to go in stages to give your brain time to adjust to the different sounds.
They May Feel Funny– If you wear eyeglasses, you may remember having to get used to the feeling of your glasses resting on your nose. Well, the same rule applies to hearing aids. So give your ears time to adjust to the sensation of your hearing aids. You may feel your hearing aids in your ears at first, but you will get used to it, and the feeling will go away eventually.
Communicate With Your Audiologist-Your audiologist or hearing specialist can help you focus on communication strategies and make subtle changes to your hearing aids along the way, so it’s important to follow up with your audiologist. Take note if anything continuously bothers you or if anything is uncomfortably loud and make sure you communicate it to your audiologist so they can help make adjustments and customize your device to fit your unique needs.