Wearing hearing aids is a life-altering experience for those living with impaired hearing. From the moment they are worn, one can detect an immense improvement in their auditory capacity: speech sounds suddenly become clearer and no longer muffled. However, the experience can be quite peculiar for one to get used to.
Which raises the question, how long does it take for your brain to adjust to a hearing aid? Will the newfound auditory experience continue to be peculiar as long as the hearing aids are worn?
Getting Used to Hearing Aids
According to experts, people can take from several weeks up to several months in getting familiar with using hearing aids. The experience, however, may vary for each individual.
A few tweaks and adjustments may be needed for your hearing aids during the trial period – don’t hesitate to consult with an audiologist if you have any queries or issues.
Getting Used to the Sound of Hearing Aids
You will find the sound of your hearing aids quite strange at first.
Your brain has grown accustomed to this missing audio, and as soon as these sounds are amplified it may feel too loud or echoey for a few days, including your own voice. This is precisely why it is critical to routinely use your hearing aids as it allows your brain to become accustomed and familiarize itself with balanced hearing.
Tips for Getting Used to Hearing Aids
1. Wear them at home first
For starters, try wearing your hearing aids in quieter environments like your home. Focusing on having one-on-one conversations and establishing an open dialogue with your family and friends can help you to stay motivated in achieving better hearing.
You can also start reading out loud or talking to pets to get your ears familiar with your voice.
2. Give yourself homework
Practice makes perfect. Challenge yourself with several personal exercises, such as locating environmental sound sources around you or listening to audiobooks or radio while at home.
Other than improving your hearing condition when wearing hearing aids, it will also help you to get accustomed to hearing in general.
3. Take breaks
It is fine to take it slow. Set a duration for you to wear hearing aids on the first day and gradually increase the number of hours every day after that.
Make sure to also try wearing hearing aids in different situations, with increased difficulty, as well.
4. Attend follow-up visits
As mentioned before, it is not uncommon to have your hearing aids adjusted from time to time. The first visit since wearing hearing aids is usually scheduled in the next two weeks to have your devices fine-tuned and volume adjusted. Make sure to attend the follow-up visits and communicate with your specialists openly.
You can also discuss with your specialist about adjusting the fit in your ear, as well as talk about challenging situations that you have experienced since wearing the hearing aids.
5. Attend hearing aid care classes
If you have the pleasure of being offered hearing aid care classes by your specialist, do not hesitate to take advantage of them. The classes can be beneficial as it is one step close to a more fulfilling experience with your hearing aids.
6. Anticipate some frustration, especially with background noise
Wearing hearing aids for the first time can be overwhelming, especially for those who are used to poor hearing. In such cases, it is normal to find background noises like the humming of the refrigerator to be loud and unbearable.
As your brain becomes accustomed to a new hearing aid, it may take some time to relearn how to prioritize specific sounds and filter out background noise. To get the most out of their device, users need to be patient with themselves and allow their brains ample opportunity for adjustment at a comfortable pace.
7. Report any pain
Hearing aids can be uncomfortable at first, but it is possible to get yourself custom-fitted earmoulds. Depending on your hearing needs, custom-fitted earmolds should fit comfortably within your ears, which will reduce the risk of any kind of pain.
In cases where the hearing aids causing you pain, it is advisable to visit your audiologist immediately to mend the issue. Your audiologist might offer a different kind of hearing aid depending on your hearing needs, but it is best to look out for one that is gentle to the ear canals and prevent your ears from feeling plugged up.
Treating hearing loss does not end with wearing hearing aids; rather, it is just the first step in a long journey.
Adjusting to hearing aids requires more effort than merely putting on new glasses – think of it as learning how to drive. It is an ongoing journey that necessitates time, dedication, knowledge, and perseverance for the best outcome.