Tips for Adjusting to New Hearing Aids

Tips for Adjusting to New Hearing Aids

In Hearing Aids, Hearing Health, Tips & Tricks by The Hearing Clinics

When people first get hearing aids, they are often surprised and uncomfortable with their new devices. This is because hearing aids are a big adjustment, and they take a little time to adapt to. Hearing loss changes many things about the way we hear, and so hearing aids can’t magically restore your hearing to its original state. They can, however, make it much easier to understand speech and navigate complex and noisy situations once you get used to them.

When you get new hearing aids, know that there will be a period of adjustment. Here are a few tips to make it a smooth transition.

Wear Them

In order for your hearing aids to serve you better, you’ll need to wear them reliably. Wearing them every day helps your brain adjust to a new way of hearing and will gradually make your hearing a richer experience.

Hearing loss that has been left untreated reshapes the way the brain processes sound. The pathways your brain uses to understand incoming signals is rewritten to compensate for missing information. This means that hearing loss steadily transforms our auditory system away from normal sound processing. When hearing aids are introduced to your new way of hearing sound, the effect can seem foreign and jarring. Fortunately, our brains are incredibly adaptive and with steady use most people adjust to their hearing aids in just a few weeks.

Track “Problem” Sounds

Your hearing aid will be custom programmed for your specific audiogram, to best compensate for frequencies of sound you have trouble detecting. Programming you hearing aids will have some trial and error to it however.

When you first get your hearing aids, start a list or journal of sounds that are uncomfortable or jarring to you.  Make a dated list, every day as you are getting used to your hearing aids, so you can discuss problem sounds on your follow up visit with your hearing specialist. Often, the sounds that first trouble you will become more comfortable as your hearing adjusts and your audiologist can change your programming to help manage any problem sounds that remain.

Practice Hearing

Recognizing speech is one of the biggest challenges for a person with hearing loss, and one of the great benefits of hearing aids. Hearing aids make conversation and listening much easier, but again, it takes a little time and effort to retrain your brain.

There are several listening techniques to help your hearing adjust. First, try sitting in a quiet room and notice the sounds that you hear. When you detect a sound, also try to determine the direction it is coming from. Sitting and listening helps you focus your hearing and hone your ability to find the source of a noise.

You can also try reading aloud to yourself, or reading printed words along with listening to an audio recording. Following an audiobook while reading the book in print is a great way to train your hearing to recognize words when they are pronounced. Turning on the captioning function for your favorite television programs can also be a great way to train your hearing with reading.

Start Having Conversations

Your new hearing aids are an adjustment, so communicating with others may sound awkward or unfamiliar at first. Start by having practice conversations with your friends and family in quiet locations. Your conversations don’t have to be complex – you can even just talk about what it’s like to adjust to hearing aids- but they should be focused so you can give your full attention to following what is being said. One-on-one conversations are your stepping stone to handling sounds and speech in more complicated environments.

Learn the Technology

If your hearing aids have features that you’d like to learn in your everyday life, now is a great time to start learning how those features function. Many new hearing aids can now stream calls and audio from smart phones and devices. Hearing aids may also have features like customizable tinnitus relief or telecoil loop access.

Take the time to figure out how to make your hearing aid’s features part of your life, and your new devices will become a more integrated part of your life.

One thing to stay away from though – in the first few weeks, try not to adjust your hearing aid’s volume controls. While your auditory system is adapting to a new way of hearing, you shouldn’t be changing this setting so much.

Coweta Hearing Clinic

Nobody knows hearing like Coweta Hearing Clinic. Our staff of hearing specialists focuses on your hearing needs and can help you connect with the best hearing solutions. We offer a wide selection of hearing aids from the top brand in the industry and provide you with custom fitting and professional programming. With Coweta Hearing Clinic, your hearing health is in your control.

Nobody knows hearing like Coweta Hearing Clinic. Our staff of hearing specialists focuses on your hearing needs and can help you connect with the best hearing solutions. We offer a wide selection of hearing aids from the top brand in the industry and provide you with custom fitting and professional programming. With Coweta Hearing Clinic, your hearing health is in your control.