Hearing aids are a fantastic tool to help stay connected to others and improve the quality of life for those with hearing loss. However, if you are a new user, it’s important to know that hearing aids can take a bit of time to get used to.
A 2014 focus group asking 16 adult hearing aid users about their experiences concluded that “getting used to hearing aids is a challenging multi-factorial process with both psychosocial and practical difficulties besides demands of adjusting to hearing-aid input.”
The good news is there are steps you can take to make the hearing aid adjustment process go more smoothly.
Work Your Way Up to Consistent Hearing Aid Use
While eventually, it’s important for you to consistently wear your hearing aids in all environments during your waking hours, it might not happen right away. It can take a bit of time to get used to the feel of having something in your ear and for certain sounds not to seem overwhelming. It’s OK to start by wearing your device several hours a day in a quiet part of your home for the first few days and build up your consistency from there.
Use Subtitles When Watching TV
When your hearing loss was untreated, you probably had to turn the volume up on the TV louder than you used to, possibly to the frustration of any family members that live with you! After getting your hearing aids, make sure to set your TV volume to a reasonable hearing level and try to use that consistently. Using subtitles while you watch can help your brain reconnect sounds to language and adjust to listening with hearing aids.
Practice Conversing With Hearing Aids With Family and Friends
Hearing loss probably made it difficult for you to follow conversations with friends and family, and now that you have hearing aids, you can enjoy socializing with them again. Start by talking with a family member or inviting a friend over to your home to enjoy a cup of coffee and quiet conversation. Familiar voices are easier to identify, and you can practice good communication strategies like active listening and looking at them when they speak.
Pick a Quiet Location To Test Your Hearing Aids in Public
When you’re ready to test out your hearing aids in public, pick your location wisely. Opt for a quiet lunch somewhere like Flexit Café over a night out at a noisy restaurant or bar. Try sitting in the corner or near a wall away from the kitchen or other noisy areas, and be patient with yourself as you adjust to your surroundings.
While hearing aids can be an adjustment, taking things slowly and being consistent will make them easier to get used to. If you find yourself struggling with your device or have additional hearing needs, call Audiology Center of Maine and schedule an appointment today.