When you receive your new hearing aids, you are poised to experience a transformation in your listening experience! Although that transformation can make communication much easier and can bring the surrounding environment to life for you, it is not as simple a process as putting on eyeglasses. Whereas vision can be brought into focus in a linear manner, hearing ability is quite subjective.
Each person’s experience of hearing aids is unique, and the adjustment process can take some time. Some people do put in their hearing aids for the first time and wish they could never take them out. Others, however, find that the new range of sounds is puzzling, even unsettling. The following tips can help you make the shift to wearing hearing aids in a way that accommodates your individual experience, making it possible to reap the benefits as soon as possible.
When you first get your hearing aids, you might be tempted to pop them right in. On the contrary, after your hearing health professional shows you how to insert them, you should wait to try them out until you are in a comfortable environment. Most people prefer to try out their hearing aids at home when it is quiet. Moving through the house, you might become aware of many sounds that you didn’t hear before, including fans, humming electrical noises, and traffic outside. When you hear these sounds, take some time to acclimate to them, allowing the newly heard sounds to pass from your conscious attention into the background. If this experience is uncomfortable or unsettling, feel free to try out the aids for just an hour at a time.
Out and About
Once you have become comfortable with your hearing aids in the controlled environment at home, bring them along with you to do an errand, such as going to the grocery store. Little can go wrong in this environment, as well, but you will begin to see how they work in conversation. If you ask an employee to help you find something, you might notice that your interaction is quite different. Even the balance of the background music and the sounds of people moving through the store can come as quite a surprise. When you leave the grocery store, you will probably want to remove your hearing aids again, taking it one step at a time
Hit the Road
Once you have become acclimated to your hearing aids in a number of different sonic environments, you can try using them while driving. Begin with a quiet street without too much traffic. Hearing aids can be useful while driving, alerting you to emergency vehicles before you see their flashing lights, but they can also introduce some jarring sounds that take getting used to. When you first try out your hearing aids in the car, be sure to do so without the radio on or others talking to you. Also, make sure you are completely comfortable with wearing hearing aids while driving before you introduce children or grandchildren into the mix!
Time to Socialize
One of the treasured benefits of hearing aids is the transformation of your social encounters, making it possible to hear a person speaking to you in an otherwise noisy environment, party, or restaurant. Although these are the settings where hearing aids really work their magic, they can also seem strange at first, leading to some awkward conversations as you learn what they can do for you.
Make sure you have adjusted to your hearing aids in these other general settings before trying them out at a busy social event. Once you’re ready, this context can demonstrate the greatest benefit!
We’re Here to Help
If you follow these steps, your adjustment to hearing aids will allow you time to learn how to hear in each new context one-by-one. Don’t forget that you can contact us for ongoing training and consultation as you move through this process.
If you find that your aids remain uncomfortable to wear or use after following the slow process of adjustment, make an appointment to return for additional fitting and advice. With expertise and experience helping others go through the adjustment process, we are here to help! Contact us today if you have any questions about your new devices.