You’ve taken a big step toward improving your hearing health, and we congratulate you!
Hearing aids allow you to hear conversations with your spouse, grandkids’ giggles and group chatter around the dinner table. While it’s wonderful to be able to hear again, all those sounds can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you get acquainted with your hearing aids.
Understanding the Process
It’s important to be aware of the time, compliance and involvement that accompanies new hearing devices. Once your audiologist has fitted and programed your new devices, they’ll likely schedule a follow-up appointment to make adjustments as needed.
Take time to explore the hearing aid settings and connect to Bluetooth-compatible devices. Test your hearing aids at home and in public and take note of any problems. Your audiologist can program your hearing devices at your next appointment to adjust to different environments, and they’ll explain the different listening modes.
Depending on your needs, you may have to schedule several follow-up appointments to get your settings adjusted to your liking.
Set Realistic Expectations
You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon after a few days of training, and the same logic applies to your hearing. Your brain has compensated for the lack of auditory stimuli and wearing hearing aids means you’re reintroducing all the little sounds you’ve missed.
It will take some time for your brain and ears to coordinate sound processing and you may get frustrated. Talk to your audiologist about what you can expect during the first few weeks with your new hearing aids.
Wearing Your Hearing Aids Often
The more you wear your devices, the more time your brain will have to practice interpreting sounds. Loud and annoying sounds may make you want to remove your hearing devices, but it’s important to resist that urge and give your ears time to adjust. Over time, you’ll be able to tune out the hum or your refrigerator or that ticking clock in your living room.
Read and listen: Turn on the closed captions while you watch a show or play an audiobook while you read. Matching words with their corresponding sounds boost the sensory connections between your brain’s vision and hearing centers.
Observe background noises: Count the different sounds you notice when you’re at home. Challenge yourself by doing the same at coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores. It will be more difficult to isolate sounds in a noisier environment, but it’s good practice for your brain.
Get your family involved: One-on-one conversations reacquaint you with the patterns and minute details of speech. Practice listening while speaking to one person at a time, then work your way to group conversations. Play board games or have dinner at the table together and focus on a single voice in a noisy setting.
Give Yourself a Break
While it’s crucial to wear your new hearing aids as often as possible, giving yourself listening breaks is equally important. Remove your hearing aids for a few minutes if you find yourself getting angry or frustrated. Relax and refocus your mind before replacing your hearing devices.
The extra mental stimulation means your brain will be working overtime to process sounds. You may feel more tired than usual, so get plenty of rest and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Follow-up appointments are essential if you have new hearing aids. Schedule your appointment at Audio Help Hearing Centers, so your audiologist can make necessary adjustments to your devices.