Adjusting to Hearing Aids
A baby laughing. Birds chirping. An opera singer hitting the final high note. All the sounds you’ve been missing—until now.
You’ve just inserted hearing aids for the first time and you’re excited for the possibility of new sounds and experiences. But whether you have mild or profound hearing loss, there’s going to be an adjustment period to living life in surround sound.
Below are some suggestions as start adjusting to hearing aids.
Speak with your audiologist to gain a better understanding of your new hearing aids. Talk about what to expect during your next few weeks of acclimation, and ask for any tips on making it a success. Request a full demonstration on how to insert, adjust, and maintain your hearing aids. Discuss any discomfort or problems you have while wearing them. The more familiar you are with your hearing aids, the more confident you’ll feel using them.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you first start wearing hearing aids. Your hearing loss has been muting sounds and it takes time to adapt to hearing again. Things may sound strange or louder than expected. Take it slowly.
Start out by wearing your hearing aids for as long as you can. At first, that may only be a few hours each day. As you become more acclimated, slowly increase the amount of time you keep them in. The goal is to wear them non-stop during waking hours.
Begin with easier listening environments. The noisier your surroundings, the harder it is to differentiate sounds. Opt for a more intimate setting, like a quiet room in your home. Practice speaking with close friends and family. Familiar voices are easiest to recognize.
When you’re ready for more stimulation, start wearing your hearing aids everywhere you go—to the movie theater, to the ballpark, on the phone. You’ll soon build a tolerance for new sounds and be better at filtering speech from background noise.
You didn’t lose your hearing overnight, so don’t expect to regain it that quickly either. Your brain needs time to relearn and adjust to amplified sounds. It takes some getting used to.
With hearing aids, your brain works to regulate frequencies and volume levels. You interfere with the acclimation process when you don’t wear your hearing aids consistently or fiddle too much with the volume. Your brain has to work over-time to compensate for the constant changes. You’ll adapt much quicker if you’re patient and consistent.
Keep Them Clean
Hearing aids are sensitive to earwax and moisture. Buildup can affect the sound quality and amplification. Dirty hearing aids can also cause ear infections. To protect your ears and your device, clean hearing aids frequently.
Some people are heavy earwax producers. But even just a tiny bit of wax can clog hearing aids and cause static or feedback. Be sure to clean out the wax from your ears regularly. Have a physician remove it or use an over-the-counter removal kit.
If your device has a wax guard, be gentle when replacing it. Wax guards are filters with tiny screens designed to keep wax from entering the hearing aid. If you’re not careful, you can break the screen. Change wax guards often and clean all tubes and tips.
Similar to other electronics, hearing aids are prone to corrosion. If your hearing aids get wet, the moisture can destroy their batteries and components. Moisture can also reduce the clarity and amplification of your device. Take precautions to keep your hearing aids dry. Never handle them with wet hands, and always remove them before showering or swimming.
For more help adapting to your hearing aids, consult our highly trained audiologists and hearing care professionals. Alert them to any concerns you may have. They can adjust your hearing aids to ensure optimal performance and fit. We’re here to help you on your journey to better hearing!