5 Tips to Help You Adjust to Your New Hearing Aids
The sense of hearing, like any other sense, is crucial to your quality of life. We only tend to realize the importance of a sense like hearing when we start losing it. If you want to know the real value of eyesight, ask someone who is rapidly losing their ability to see. Similarly, the sense of hearing is also often taken for granted, until one develops hearing loss. That is when you truly realize how important a role hearing plays in our everyday life, social relationships and our general wellbeing.
Luckily, with the aid of modern science, your hearing loss can pretty much be treated with the help of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive hearing technologies. Despite technological advancement and the use of complex digital systems, hearing aids do not exactly replicate the experience of natural hearing. As a result, you may need to learn how to adjust to your hearing aids when you first start wearing them.
Tips for faster adjustment
Hearing aids will help you hear all the little things around you again, especially if you have had hearing loss for a long time and left it untreated. If you’ve had untreated hearing loss for an extended amount of time, the brain often “forgets” how to organize and process all the auditory input that a normal ear can transmit to it. Due to prolonged untreated hearing loss, certain parts of your brain’s hearing center experience a reduction in their function. Therefore, when you get hearing aids and the brain once again gets full auditory stimuli from the environment, it needs some time to adjust.
The following tips are designed to help your brain adjust faster to your new hearing aids in order to make your hearing experience smoother and more comfortable.
- Start by wearing your hearing aids at home. Once you get fitted with your new hearing aids, practice hearing in the comfort and security of your home. This will help you get used to the sounds around you without putting you in danger.
- Gradually increase the time of wearing your hearing aids. While it is understandable that wearing hearing aids can be uncomfortable and nerve-racking in the beginning, the best way to get used to them is by wearing them for a few hours on the first day, then for a few more hours on the next day and so on until you can wear them for the whole day without any problem.
- Practice different things with your new hearing aids. It is very important to know the direction of the source of sound, for example. Practice locating where a certain sound produced by a friend is coming from by listening only to sharpen up your brain.
- In order to understand speech better, you can start by listening to the radio or audio books. By now, you must be very reliant on lip-reading to understand speech but you don’t have to do that anymore!
- Don’t worry about the background noise that at this point might seem too much. Your brain will gradually learn to tune it out.
If you’ve had your hearing aids for an extended amount of time and still have not fully adjusted, schedule an appointment with your hearing healthcare provider to determine if your devices need different programming.