Tips for Adjusting to New Hearing Aids

Tips for Adjusting to New Hearing Aids
Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A

Congratulations on your new hearing aids! The transition to using hearing aids opens a world of new possibilities, and you will surely be thrilled with the results before long. However, the relief and satisfaction of a new pair of hearing aids is not an immediate experience for many people who begin to use them. When you first put in your hearing aids, you might even feel annoyed or easily surprised by your surroundings. Keep in mind that familiarizing yourself with hearing aids takes a period of adjustment.

Perhaps the first time you tried on the aids was with the assistance of your audiologist. You might have had the opportunity to put them in while sitting in a quiet office with the support of a professional right in the room. Although this first experience can be an overwhelming one, using hearing aids at home and in the world can be even more challenging at first. It is important to remember that hearing aids are not the same as eyeglasses. Those who get glasses for the first time tend to have an immediate, positive response.

Hearing aids, on the other hand, require practice to get used to them and to reap the benefits. Don’t let a little bit of practice get between you and the total enjoyment you can experience once they are in full use. The following helpful tips can help you make the jump from compromised hearing to full and clear hearing in no time.

Take It Slow

Although you may be tempted to wear your hearing aids out of the audiologist’s office and into the world immediately, it may be a better approach to take it slow, getting used to hearing aids in progressively more complex listening environments. Try out the hearing aids at home first. You will likely want to have assistance from a friend, family member, or loved one to actually insert the aids the first time, and fitting them appropriately into the ears can take practice as well. With assistance to place the hearing aids in your ears, go ahead and walk around your house. Perhaps you’d like to begin by doing some basic chores or activities in your own secure environment. You may be surprised at the sounds that seem to jump out at you. The buzzing and whirring of motors, heaters, appliances, and air conditioning units may come as a surprise at first. Get used to your immediate surroundings first before taking the next step.

Plug In to Media

The next step may be to introduce some louder and more dynamic sounds into your environment. Try out the hearing aids with the television on, but be sure to begin at a very low volume. You may have become accustomed to listening to the television at an incredibly loud volume, and the newfound ability to hear may make the old television volume overwhelming. Try turning on different types of media, such as the radio, a speaker system, or music from a CD or record player. Each of these units may feel different to you, and don’t hesitate to fiddle with the volume on each. It is important to remember to use your hearing aids at the volume level prescribed by your hearing specialist – so if the music or TV is too loud, turn down those devices and not your hearing aids.

Find Your Fit

Getting used to taking hearing aids in and out can be as tricky as getting used to the new range of sounds you hear. As mentioned, it may be helpful to have a friend, family member, or loved one around to help you put them in, particularly for those with dexterity issues or who use very small hearing aids. You may find that a certain placement gives you a muffled sound or like your ears are plugged up, otherwise known as occlusion. If you have this experience, try to work with them for a week or so to see if you can find the right fit. If at that point you still feel uncomfortable with your aids, contact us at Professional Hearing Services for assistance.

Take It to the Streets

Once you have your aids fitted and comfortable to use at home, venture out into new environments such as driving, at the grocery store, or at a social event. Each of these will provide a different experience, so take it one at a time. Limiting your use to short durations, such as half hour intervals, may be helpful at first. In no time you’ll be comfortable with your aids and unable to imagine life without them!

Contact Us at Professional Hearing Services

Our team is here to support you on the journey to better hearing, and we’re just a call away as you begin to get accustomed to your new hearing aids. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

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