Do I Need to Wear My Hearing Aids Daily?

Wear Hearing Aids Daily

Imagine you spend all your time in dark and dimly lit rooms for 7 years.

There is only one small lamp in the rooms and it is not very bright. There is no sunlight coming through the windows.

Now, imagine after 7 years of living in darkened rooms that you walk outside on a sunny day.

Can you feel the discomfort of your eyes in that sunlight?

You're probably squinting, shielding your eyes from the sun, and blinking uncontrollably. This will last for a while, after all, you've been in the dark for 7 years.

Even after your eyes finally adjust to the light, every time you step outside for the next few weeks, your eyes need some time to adjust. The longer you stay in the sunlight, the more natural the lighting becomes, and you are able to see your surroundings much clearer.

Now I want you to imagine that you haven't been hearing well for 7 years.

Then one day you get hearing aids.

The hearing aids allow you to hear even the softest hum of the air conditioner and the sound of your feet on the hardwood floor when you take a step.

These sounds are distracting and kind of annoying. You don't necessarily like hearing all those background noises so you take your hearing aids out.

But, just like your eyes needed time to adjust to the sunlight after being in the dark, your ears need time to adjust to all these sounds you are hearing much more clearly than you have for the last 7 years.

The longer you wear your hearing aids, the more normal those background sounds become. Your ears and your brain learn to adjust to them so that they fade back into the background and become a natural part of what you hear.

This is why you should wear your hearing aids every day.

If you expect to hear better, especially in environments where there is background noise, you need to be consistent about wearing your hearing aids.

If you only put your hearing aids on every now and then and expect to like what you hear, it's like walking from that dark room into the sunlight and expecting to look towards the sun and see clearly.

This analogy points out that our bodies and our brains do a very good job of adjusting to new things, but it takes time.

You most likely didn't lose your hearing overnight, so why expect to hear normally with your hearing aids overnight? It is an adjustment process that will take consistency on your part.

Lindsey Banks

Audiologist

Lindsey Banks is a graduate of the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program at the University of Florida. She uses her diverse experience in hearing healthcare and her passion for helping people to provide credible information to those with hearing loss who visit Everyday Hearing.

Comments

  1. You stated that if you expect to hear better, especially in environments where there is background noise, you need to be consistent about wearing hearing aids. Are there different kinds of devices that you can choose from? My mother has really been complaining about her hearing and wants to get some help. Finding a reputable audiologist could be very helpful.

    1. Hi Derek

      Yes, there are definitely different types of devices to choose from. The more advanced the hearing device is, the better it is going to perform in complex environments like noisy places. Here’s a good resource to find an Audiologist in your area: http://webportal.audiology.org/Custom/FindAnAudiologist.aspx
      Let me know where you live and I may be able to recommend someone for you.

  2. My mom just celebrated her 75th birthday and at her party, she was complaining about her hearing. You mentioned that the hearing aids allow you to hear even the softest hum of the air conditioner and the sound of your feet on the hardwood floor when you take a step. Are there certain types of hearing aids that might be more effective for someone of her age?

    1. Hi Derek
      The more advanced the hearing aid is, the better job it will do at handling all the speech in noise your mom experiences in her day-to-day living. The right hearing aid for her will depend on her hearing loss. It is also important that you purchase the hearing aid from an Audiologist so they can adjust settings appropriately for your mom. A hearing aid is only as good as the person prescribing it!

  3. Ken Hwan says:

    I really liked how clear your analogy of wearing a hearing aid is like going outside after a long time, it is painful at first but you get used to it really quickly. I recently got a hearing aid, and I am always tempted to take it out some days so I can give my ears a break! I will be sure to leave them in every day so I can get used to all of the small sounds around me.

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