It’s easy to assume that getting hearing aids means you can pick up where you left off regarding regaining your hearing. However, adjusting to new stimuli and sounds your brain hasn’t experienced in many years can take time, patience, and effort. Some of these tips below might prove helpful if you’ve purchased new hearing aids and are taking longer to adjust than you thought you would.
Wear Them At Home
Before you start going out with hearing aids, try to get as used to them as possible in the comfort of your own home. Have one-on-one conversations with your loved ones, listen to the sounds in your natural environment, and talk or read out loud often to get used to a voice that might sound different from what you’ve been used to.
While it can be tempting to start living life to the fullest as soon as you regain your hearing, there’s value in taking it slow to avoid becoming overwhelmed and stressed by too many sounds.
Many people struggle to go from hearing very little in their environment to hearing everything. Give yourself a chance to adjust properly by taking frequent breaks from wearing them. Start by wearing them for a few hours on the first day and increase that number gradually as you get used to them. If you know you’re going to be in a noisy, overstimulating environment, consider moving to quiet areas throughout the day to avoid feelings of overwhelm.
Request Follow-Up Visits
Most reputable audiologists don’t provide you with hearing aids and then leave you to your own devices. They take the time to fine-tune, adjust, and listen to your queries and concerns. To ensure your hearing aids are perfect for your needs, don’t forget to go to any booked follow-up appointments. If none have been provided, contact your audiologist to see whether you need to attend any. Generally, post-fitting check-ups are offered within two weeks of the initial fitting, which is when volume adjustment and fine-tuning are considered.
While time is usually all you need to adjust to a new way of hearing, there’s no harm in being proactive to speed up the adjustment process. Sit in a comfy chair at home and see if you can locate and name all the sounds you hear.
You might even become more used to loud talking and sounds in your environment by listening to the radio and audiobooks. These practice sessions might set you up for success in real-life conversations and might even reduce how much stress you feel when you engage with the general public for the first time.
Be Kind to Yourself
You might think that adjusting to hearing aids is no big deal, and you’ll be ready for full-time use within a day. That’s not always the case, and it can be frustrating. Remember to be kind to yourself when you feel frustrated, stressed, emotional, or overwhelmed. It can take time to teach your brain what it feels like to have use of your ears.
Getting hearing aids is exciting, especially when you’re able to hear so much of what you’ve missed out on. However, it’s also important to remember that it can be challenging. Take some of the actions above, and you might enjoy a smooth transition into comfortable hearing aid use.