Adjusting to Wearing Hearing Aids
Remember the first time you had to wear glasses and how strange it felt? Now you wouldn’t go out without them. Adjusting to wearing hearing aids is very similar. But with just a little patience, you’ll quickly become accustomed to your units. Here are a few tips on how to adjust to wearing hearing aids.
Start slowly in quiet surroundings
This may be the most important step. Because you actually hear with your brain (via your ears), it takes time to adapt to hearing new sounds. When you start slowly and wear your hearing aids just a few hours a day, it allows for that adjustment. Sometimes a ticking clock or birds may sound unusually loud, but that’s just part of getting used to background sounds you haven’t heard in a while. You’ll become accustomed to your hearing aids quickly. Starting in a quiet environment sets you up for adapting to noisier places. Begin by watching TV or listening to the radio at home and gradually work up to that noisy restaurant.
Acclimate to voices and sounds
When you first wear hearing aids, some voices, including your own, may sound different to you. This resolves itself in a few days. To help the process along, try reading aloud so that your voice sounds less “funny”. This also helps you to speak at lower levels, if necessary. Try using subtitles on the TV for a few days to help your brain associate words and sounds. When you meet with friends, be sure to face them while they’re talking so your brain picks up on their vocal patterns.
Everything will not go right 100% of the time. Don’t be discouraged if you have problems the first time you wear your hearing aids out to a social event. You need time to learn how to pick up on conversation versus ambient noise. Don’t get upset the first few times you try to change the batteries and drop them or put them in backwards. Add your hearing aids into your morning and nighttime habits. Put them in after you finish your morning routine and take them out (and store them in the same place) before you wash up for bed.
Adjusting to wearing hearing aids takes a little time, but it’s worth it. Studies show that people who try to rush things may become discouraged and reduce how often they wear their hearing aids. With just a bit of patience, you can ensure that won’t happen. If you’ve had your hearing aids for more than one month and are still struggling to get used to them, don’t hesitate to contact your hearing care provider and have them make adjustments.