Adjusting to Hearing Aids
Wearing hearing aids for the first time is most definitely an adjustment, particularly if you have been without full hearing or have only had partial hearing for some time. If you’ve taken the step to have hearing aids fitted, it is rather a big step and you will be eager to get back to the sounds you’ve surely been missing. But, the change will need some getting used to. Your brain will need to re learn certain sounds again, so don’t expect the transition to be an overnight one. From volume control, to building up usage time, here are some tips to transition you gently into wearing hearing aids.
Gradually increase usage time
The more you wear your hearing aids, the quicker you will get used to them. But, the length of time you wear them for should be built up gradually over time. Start with a couple of hours, and then slowly increase this each day until you’re 100% comfortable with them. National Hearing Care advises seniors to wear them for as long as can be tolerated, and to increase the time as your tolerance levels rise. As everyone is different, choose to build up your tolerance in situations which you feel comfortable, whether it is in aged care with familiar faces or at home with loved ones.
Adjust according to the situation
You will experience both quiet, and noisy situations with your hearing aids in, and you will need to learn how to adjust them according to each. In a noisy environment, there are a number of things you can do to clear the background noise from those you’re trying to listen to:
- Try as best you can to face your back to the general noise.
- Concentrate on those who are talking, particularly their facial expressions.
- If your hearing aids have a ‘noise’ setting then ensure it is switched on.
If you’re in a quiet environment, you will be hearing everyday noises that you haven’t heard in sometime. From the hum of the refrigerator, to the rustle of leaves in the wind, you might have to turn your hearing aid volume down until you’re well adjusted to the noises that many don’t even notice.
Know when to push through (and when not to)
While hearing aids might feel intrusive and even uncomfortable at first, try to persevere and not take them out immediately. Increase the time you spend wearing your hearing aids during familiar situations and your body, and mind, will begin to get used to the experience. That being said, audiologists Ear&Hearing advise you don’t push through if you become tired. As your brain is heavily involved in the process of hearing, and you’re educating it to pick up and interpret different sounds, listen to your body and take a break when you feel the need to do so.
Take note of issues
As with any new piece of equipment, there can be glitches, issues or even malfunctions. And if it is your first time wearing hearing aids, you might need to make any necessary adjustments to ensure they are perfect for you. If you feel any discomfort, or unusual sounds, write down the issues to the best of your ability. Then, the next time you visit your audiologist you can provide the necessary feedback to make the right adjustments to suit your auditory needs.
Getting used to hearing aids for the first time requires a certain amount of patience, perseverance and commitment. And while everyone adapts at different rates, once adjusted, you will benefit greatly from the devices that are there to help you hear clearly once again.