October 24, 2022

Getting Used to New Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are not like glasses - it takes time for your ears and brain to get used to new devices. You will likely undergo an adjustment phase when you initially start wearing your hearing aids, especially if they are your first ever pair. This is known as the "hearing aid fitting" period. It might take time and be challenging to adjust to the sound quality of new hearing aids, and this is perfectly normal, if frustrating.

Hearing aids are not like glasses - it takes time for your ears and brain to get used to new devices. You will likely undergo an adjustment phase when you initially start wearing your hearing aids, especially if they are your first ever pair. This is known as the "hearing aid fitting" period. It might take time and be challenging to adjust to the sound quality of new hearing aids, and this is perfectly normal, if frustrating.

Here are some pointers to help you get used to your new hearing aids more quickly:


Tip #1: Be patient.


First and foremost, new hearing aid users should be patient with themselves.


Consider this fact: on average, individuals wait seven years before getting treatment for hearing loss. You may have noticed changes in your hearing a few years ago and have just recently started using hearing aids to correct it.


It's vital to remember that our brains handle the majority of our auditory processing. Because hearing loss is a slow process, we may have become used to garbled sound signals and poor speech over time.


That's why it'll take some getting accustomed to hearing again. You may believe that the noises you are hearing are too loud, but trust us when we say that your  audiologist has set your hearing aids to the appropriate levels of hearing. Allow yourself some time to adjust to this new level of "normal" hearing you've missed.


Tip #2: Start in quiet places.


It may be challenging to adjust to new hearing aids in a loud setting, so begin using them in calm and quiet areas. Take note of any little ambient noises you notice with your hearing aid and attempt to pinpoint the source. Acquaintance with isolated, quiet sounds aids the transition to hearing well in noisy and sociable contexts. Starting with sounds in a quiet place may also help you recognize which noises need adjustment of your hearing aids.


Tip #3: Wear your hearing aids regularly.


This is another critical step in developing a routine using your hearing aids. Don't forget to use your hearing aids every day. Remember that they are now your portal to the outside world. The sooner you get used to listening with hearing aids, the better - which takes time. When we have untreated hearing loss, our brains get used to imprecise sound signals.


As we hear better with hearing aids, our brains must catch up to acclimate to this new experience. The additional auditory stimuli may cause us to get exhausted at first, so gradually increase your listening time throughout the day.


Wear your hearing aids around the home, to the grocery store, and while meeting up with friends. Get accustomed to wearing them in noisy conditions and get familiar with making adjustments.


Tip #4: Increase the number of conversation partners gradually.


While practicing speech recognition is beneficial, you should start having conversations with groups of people while wearing your hearing aids. But don't forget to gradually increase the aural complexity of discussions before diving into a raucous dinner party or class reunion.


Start with one-on-one talks in calm places when you're initially getting used to your hearing aids. When ready, retain the quiet setting but invite extra individuals to your conversation. Pay attention to where speech is coming from and how your ears find sound in the area while conversing with numerous individuals. Quiet discussion improves understanding and prepares you to manage sound in louder and more complicated contexts.


Tip #5: When viewing TV or listening to an audiobook, use captions or subtitles.


When watching TV or listening to an audiobook, utilize captions or subtitles to help you adjust to your new hearing aids. Captions and subtitles may also help you improve your listening skills by preventing you from just guessing what others are saying. Many hearing aids also have television accessories that can help by streaming the sound from the television directly through your hearing aids.


Tip #6: Try using a speakerphone or Bluetooth connection to make phone calls.


If your hearing aids include a Bluetooth wireless connection option, learn how to connect your smartphone and stream phone conversations straight to your ears - handling phone conversations is a different skill to be practiced.


If your hearing aids aren't Bluetooth compatible, consider accepting phone conversations on loudspeaker - this way, you can optimize the amount of sound you hear by utilizing both of your ears. You also won't have to worry about awkwardly placing the phone over your hearing aid.


Tip #7: Keep your Audiologist on speed dial


Our staff at Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte is available to help you through the fitting process. We recognize that getting adjusted to new hearing aids takes time and effort. Based on the findings of your hearing test, we fit you with accuracy and precision. We are here to help you make changes and answer any questions you may have on your path to improved hearing.