If you have hearing loss and have recently been fitted for hearing aids, know that it’s a decision that will benefit your life enormously in many ways. However, just like with any change, hearing aids can take some getting used to.
Hearing aid users have reported that multiple factors can play a role in getting used to hearing aids, from adjusting to a different sensory input to managing the psychosocial impact of hearing aid use.
The following tips and activities can help you adjust to your hearing aids quicker and get the most out of your device.
Start Slow With Your Hearing Aids
In an ideal world, you could pop your hearing aids in right after leaving your audiologist’s office and head to a crowded, noisy environment and experience perfect hearing. However, the reality is that your brain and ears need some time to adjust to this new way of hearing. You’ll likely be picking up on sounds you haven’t heard in a while, while other noises may sound louder than usual.
Start off wearing your hearing aids in a quiet room of your house. You may only be able to wear them for parts of the day at first. While eventually, the goal is to wear your hearing aids during all waking hours (apart from when they could get wet), it’s OK to start out wearing them a few hours each day and gradually work up to full-time use.
Use Subtitles When You Watch TV
When your hearing loss was untreated, you probably had the volume up on the TV much louder than you even realized. Once you get hearing aids, try setting the TV to a normal volume and keeping it there. Turn the subtitles on, as that can help your brain reconnect sounds to language and improve your listening experience.
Choose Quiet Environments and Small Groups When Socializing
One of the biggest motivators to treat hearing loss is to be able to improve your ability to communicate with others. To help make that process easier, start out by having one-on-one conversations with your spouse or other loved one in a quiet setting like your living room or backyard. As you get more comfortable, you can start to venture out. However, opt for a quiet table with a friend or two at Harmony Coffee Bar before attempting a night out in a louder environment so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Tell Your Audiologist About Ongoing Issues With Your Hearing Aids
While an adjustment phase is completely normal, if you are having serious problems with your hearing aids, you should contact your audiologist. Give them a call if you are experiencing:
- Discomfort or pain while wearing your hearing aids
- Frequent whistling noises
- Poor sound quality
- Other issues affecting your hearing aid use
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call North Shore Audio-Vestibular Lab today.