Congratulations—you’re set to join the millions of Americans who have found out how wearing hearing aids can make life much more satisfying and rewarding. Before long, you’ll be hearing sounds you’ve long forgotten about, participating in stimulating discussions, and listening to music with greater perceptiveness for each instrument.
But before you get to all that, you’ll have to move through a quick phase of adjustment to get comfortable with your new hearing aids. Here are five suggestions to help you push through this stage and to help you get the maximum benefit out of your new technology.
1. Visit a Hearing Care Professional
If you want the best hearing possible, there’s no way around the first step, which is visiting a hearing care professional. They can assist you in finding the most appropriate hearing aid that matches your hearing loss, lifestyle, and financial position. And, even more importantly, they can custom-fit and program your new hearing aid so that it’s optimized for your distinctive hearing loss.
Your hearing loss, like a fingerprint, is one-of-a-kind. As a result, every hearing aid should always be programmed differently—and this calls for the practical knowledge of a hearing care professional.
2. Give Your Hearing Aids a Chance
Your brand new hearing aids will take some getting used to. You’ll notice sounds you haven’t listened to in some time, your voice may sound unusual, and sound may on the whole just seem “off.” This is completely normal: you simply need time to adjust.
Start off by making a commitment to wear your hearing aids for as much of the day as possible, for at least a couple of weeks. Put them in when you wake up and take them out before bed. Although it may be awkward initially, you’ll adjust to better hearing in no time—and it will be well worth the effort and hard work.
If you discover that you’re having a hard time adjusting, set up an appointment with your hearing care professional. Hearing aids can be fine-tuned, so you never have to quit on better hearing.
3. Start Small at Home
We recommend adapting to your hearing aids initially in the comfort of your home. Attempt watching a movie or TV show and paying particular attention to the dialogue; take part in one-on-one conversations in a quiet space; and listen to music while attempting to pick out a variety of instruments and pitches.
Next, when you’re more accustomed, you can try your hearing aids out in more challenging surroundings like at parties, restaurants, and movie theaters. Modern hearing aids come with advanced features and environmental settings that can easily handle these heightened listening demands—which segues nicely to the fourth tip.
4. Learn the Advanced Features
After you’ve adjusted to your hearing aids, you should set out to learn some of the more sophisticated features. With the assistance of your hearing instrument specialist, you can discover how to maximize the functionality and convenience of your modern hearing aids.
Depending on your chosen model, you’ll have the ability to do things like wirelessly stream music and phone calls straight to your hearing aids, manipulate the volume from your smart-phone or digital watch, and easily change settings to maximize your hearing in a variety of environments. Be sure to consult to your hearing instrument specialist about all the features that may be beneficial to you.
5. Maintain Your Hearing Aids
Last, you’ll want to make sure that you care for your hearing aids. This implies daily cleaning, proper storage, and managing your battery supply. Your hearing instrument specialist will help you combine hearing aid maintenance and care into your daily routine so that it becomes automatic and easy.
You’ll also want to get your hearing aids professionally cleaned and evaluated once or twice annually to ensure proper performance for many years.
We’d like to hear from you: if you currently wear hearing aids, tell us about your experiences! Let us know how you adjusted to your hearing aids and any recommendations you’d give to those just getting started.