Unlike eyeglasses, which, when put on, provide immediate, positive results, hearing aids typically require a short transition period before benefits are fully realized. Most people need a month or two to get used to how the hearing aids sound and feel, and it can be frustrating at first as new sounds are heard or older sounds are crisper, stronger and seem, at first, abnormal. When you make the move from having hearing loss with no hearing aids to actually wearing them, you are essentially altering the way your ears interpret sounds. The longer a hearing loss is present, the longer the brain has adjusted to hearing sounds incorrectly. Thus, the transition period with new hearing aids is simply your brain re-learning how to understand and hear certain sounds.
It can also be difficult at first to get in the routine of wearing your hearing aids everyday. Your ears are not accustomed to having a foreign object on or in them, but independent research shows that once your ears become accustomed to the hearing aids, that hearing aid usage can have a positive effect on such things as earning power, relationships and physical health*.
Follow these five tips to help yourself start hearing better with hearing aids:
- Wear them, even when you don’t want to — It’s important that you wear your hearing aids every day so you’ll be comfortable with them in all situations and every environment. Some environments are adjust to with hearing aids, but this just makes it all the more important for you to wear your hearing aids all the time. Allowing your brain and ears to learn how to work together again will only be possible if they have consistent exposure. Wearing your hearing aids infrequently will keep your ears and brain from connecting correctly again, make adjusting to sounds harder and will slow down your ability to focus and adjust to multiple voices and sounds.
- Open mind, positive outlook — You’ll get much more out of your hearing aids when you go into them with an open mind and a positive focus. Try to keep in mind all the quality-of-life benefits they provide when adjustments get hard and keep your mind open to the fact that nothing is perfect and adjustments might need to be made.
- Learn all you can about your hearing loss — The more you know about your limits, the easier it is to surpass them. Check out our blog each month for information regarding hearing loss, hearing aids, hearing aid features, tips for cleaning, using, adjusting and more to help yourself adjust quickly and easily.
- Set realistic expectations — Nothing cures hearing loss, but hearing aids can truly help you regain much of what you’re currently missing. There is no 100-percent fix, but be sure to set yourself realistic expectations such as hearing better in one-on-one conversations, understanding speech better in noisy environments and other reasonable goals.
- Be patient — Like riding a bike, hearing aids take time to master. But once you do, wearing your hearing will be second nature.
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If you’re ready to be one of the 90-percent of people who say wearing hearing aids has improved their quality of life*, fill out our Contact Us form and we will help get you connected with a hearing professional near you.