*This post is Step 5 in a 5 step series of posts titled the Ultimate Guide to Buying Hearing Aids. Be sure to check out the other steps at the end of this post.
Wearing a hearing aid for the first time takes some time to adjust. Even if you have worn hearing aids for several years, getting a new set of hearing aids will be a little different and take some time.
Hearing through a hearing aid is not your natural hearing.
You are hearing through a device and your brain needs time to get used to the new sound. For some people this takes a few days, for others it may take several weeks. Here are some tips for new hearing aid users.
Tip 1: Don’t Expect to Hear Everything
There are certain sounds you may still miss. While the hearing aid technology is improving, hearing aids are not perfect. You need to have realistic expectations for what your hearing aids can do for you. Do not expect to now understand your spouse from the other room. Even people with good hearing cannot hear everything. The optimal distance for speech understanding is 5 feet.
Tip 2: Wear Both Hearing Aids Together
Your brain needs both ears functioning together to process sound most effectively. While you may get by with one hearing aid, it is going to be more beneficial if you wear them both together all the time.
Tip 3: Make Your Hearing Aids an Everyday Part of Life
Just like you comb your hair and brush your teeth in the morning, you should put your hearing aids in. They are meant to be worn 12-16 hours a day, not just when you think you need them. If you experience discomfort in your ears when wearing your hearing aids, talk to your Hearing Healthcare Professional.
Tip 4: Give Yourself Time to Adjust to Your Voice
If you have been living with hearing loss for a while, you have grown accustomed to hearing your own voice through your hearing loss. When wearing hearing aids for the first time, adjusting to the sound of your voice is one of the hardest parts. The more consistently you wear your hearing aids, the more natural your voice will sound again.
Tip 5: The World is Noisy Place
One of the biggest complaints from new hearing aid users is that everything is too noisy. That is not necessarily the hearing aids fault. The world is a noisy place and if you have been living with a hearing loss, you may have forgotten how noisy it really is. When wearing hearing aids for the first time you are going to hear sounds you may have forgotten….your refrigerator running, the sound of you chewing, a ticking clock, chirping of birds, etc. With time your brain will learn to filter those unimportant noises out by wearing your hearing aids consistently.
Tip 6: Become an Active Listener
Listening takes effort. Your hearing aids will make it easier for you to communicate, but you also must listen. Take advantage of environmental and speech cues and engage in the conversation. Stay positive. Improved communication can lead to a better life.
Buying hearing aids can be a challenging process. I hope I have helped to clear up some of the questions you may have about where to purchase hearing aids, what hearing aid is right for you, how much hearing aids should cost, and what to expect when wearing hearing aids. Hearing loss can have detrimental effects on your quality of life, whether you realize it now or not. It is important to take action as soon as you suspect a hearing loss. Find a Hearing Healthcare Professional that will walk you through the process and commit yourself to better hearing.
That concludes our series on the Ultimate Guide to Buying Hearing Aids. Hope you enjoyed it and if you missed any of the steps be sure to check below.
Step One: Choosing Where to go for Your Hearing Needs
Step Two: Determining Your Need for Hearing Aids
Step Three: Deciding Which Hearing Aid is Right for You
Step Four: 8 Things to Know Before Buying Hearing Aids
Step Five: What to Expect When Wearing Hearing Aids