Getting hearing aids is an exciting time. You’re learning about new technology, and now you’ll be able to better interact in social environments.
While there is plenty to look forward too, you may also find it takes some time to adjust to the sounds you’re able to hear again. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to make your adjustment go smoothly.
Take Small Steps
You may be surprised by the volume of background noises. You may even find your voice sounds different to you. Be patient and give yourself the proper amount of time to let your brain adjust.
Do pace yourself: Start wearing your hearing aids at home in a familiar, quiet space where you can focus on one sound at a time.
Don’t wear your hearing aids constantly: Wear your hearing aids for a few hours the first day as your brain relearns sounds. Gradually increase the duration over time.
Don’t fuss with the volume: Hearing aids can self-adjust to different listening environments, so you don’t have to mess with the volume. Consult your audiologist if you need to adjust your volume.
As you reacquaint yourself with the ticking clock or the hum of the refrigerator, learning to ignore background noise will improve with time.
Give Yourself Homework
As you work with your new hearing aids, treat your brain like a muscle that needs constant exercise as your practice listening.
Do try to locate sounds: Identify the sources of daily background noise in your house so your brain can practice determining the distances of different sounds.
Do listen to audiobooks: Sit down and listen to a good book. Read along with the narrator to familiarize yourself with difficult sounds, especially consonants. Listening to talk radio is another good option.
Don’t forget to practice good communication: Position yourself in front of the person you’re speaking with and focus on their faces. This will help your brain reconnect sound with speech patterns and body language.
Get The Family Involved
It will take a lot of practice and participation to adjust to your new hearing aids. Get your loved ones involved with your listening exercises to keep them in the loop on your hearing situation.
Do read together: Like listening to an audiobook, reading aloud with a loved one will help your brain connect sounds with their visual cues.
Do talk it out: Talk to your loved ones about your successes and frustrations so they know where you stand and can support your process.
Don’t go to appointments alone: Bringing the family along to your follow-up appointments provides a great opportunity to answer questions.