Congratulations—you’re ready to join the millions of Americans who have discovered how using hearing aids can make life more satisfying and rewarding. Soon, you’ll be listening to sounds you’ve long forgotten about, engaging in stimulating conversations, and listening to music with better discernment 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 to assist you to make it through this stage and to help you get the most out of your new technology.
1. Visit a Hearing Care Professional
If you desire to have the best hearing possible, there’s no way around the first step, which is consulting a hearing care professional. They can help you find the most appropriate hearing aid that corresponds with your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget. And, most 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 unique. As a result, every hearing aid should be programmed differently—and this requires the expertise of a hearing care professional.
2. Give Your Hearing Aids a Chance
Your new hearing aids will take time to get used to. You’ll hear sounds you haven’t heard in many years, your voice may sound different, and sound might on the whole just seem “off.” This is completely ordinary: you just need time to adapt.
Start by making a commitment to wear your hearing aids for as much of the day as possible, for a minimum of a couple of weeks. Put them in when you get up in the morning and take them out before going to bed. Even though it may be uncomfortable initially, you’ll adjust to better hearing in no time—and it will be well worth the effort.
If you discover that you’re having a hard time adjusting, schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional. Hearing aids can be fine-tuned, so you never have to throw in the towel on better hearing.
3. Start Small
We suggest adapting to your hearing aids initially in the comfort of your home. Attempt watching a movie or television show and paying particular attention to the discourse; engage in one-on-one conversations in a quiet room; and listen to music while attempting to identify different instruments and pitches.
Then, when you’re more comfortable, you can test your hearing aids out in more complex surroundings like at social gatherings, restaurants, and movie theaters. Modern hearing aids have sophisticated features and environmental settings that can easily handle these increased listening demands—which segues perfectly to the fourth tip.
4. Learn the Advanced Features
After you’ve adapted to your hearing aids, you should start to learn a few of the more advanced features. With the help of your hearing specialist, you can discover how to maximize the functionality and convenience of your modern hearing aids.
Depending on your chosen model, you’ll be able to do things like wirelessly stream music and phone calls straight to your hearing aids, control the volume from your smart-phone or digital watch, and easily switch settings to optimize your hearing in different environments. Be sure to talk to your hearing specialist about all the features that might be helpful to you.
5. Maintain Your Hearing Aids
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you care for your hearing aids. This means daily cleaning, appropriate storage, and managing your battery supply. Your hearing specialist will show you how to integrate 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 assessed once or twice a year to ensure proper functioning 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 adapted to your hearing aids and any recommendations you’d give to those just starting out.