Congratulations on taking the first steps toward treating your hearing loss by acquiring your first set of hearing aids! And as much as we would love to say that, wearing them and turning them on will be all you need to do. Getting used to these new devices can take a while, as your brain must acclimate to the new sounds and stimuli. To help you get through the adjustment period more efficiently, consider these tips to get the most out of your new hearing aids.
Wear them at home first.
Wearing your hearing aids around the house allows your brain to adjust to hearing many of the sounds you have previously been missing without getting overwhelmed. Get used to sounds like the fridge humming, doors opening and closing, feet (or pet nails) on floors, and more.
Wearing them around the house first will allow you to determine which sounds to pay attention to and which to ignore, and help when you are out in louder areas such as restaurants, supermarkets, and other places where you might need to ignore background sounds while engaging in conversation.
Increase usage time slowly.
You may notice that your ears get sore or you experience listening fatigue after having your hearing aids in for a short period. Try to create the habit of wearing your hearing aid as much as possible for the first month to allow yourself to get used to them. Wear them throughout the day from when you wake up, even if they feel slightly uncomfortable. However, if they become too painful and you begin to have difficulty adjusting, contact your hearing care professional to verify they are adjusted correctly.
Expect some frustration, particularly with background noise.
If it has been a few years since your hearing has lessened, hearing aids will bombard your ears with sounds you haven’t noticed in quite some time. Your brain will take some time to relearn how to prioritize certain sounds over others. It’s essential to be patient and take your time adjusting.
Attend follow-up visits.
It’s critical to see your hearing care professional for follow-up visits to fine-tune the sounds you hear, the fit, and how well the hearing aids are sitting in and on your year, and discuss which types of environments you find most challenging to hear in. Generally, people will return to their hearing care provider within two weeks of being fitted for their hearing aids to fine-tune their devices and adjust frequency levels if needed.
Sign up if your hearing care professional offers new hearing aid wearers classes. These classes are very insightful and increase satisfaction with hearing aid use.
Salem Audiology Clinic offers our Weekend Academy class which we hold once per month at no cost to current and non-patients alike. It is a half-day class that teaches you all of the ends and outs of what to expect with new hearing aids and how you can maximize your use with them.
Report any pain.
Hearing aids come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. If you have custom-fitted earmolds, they should fit comfortably in your ears. You may notice some slight discomfort at first; however, if they are causing any amount of pain in your ear, you should contact your audiologist immediately to fix the problem. Generally, receiver-in-the-ear styles with domes are more accessible to adjust because they will not cause a “plugged” feeling inside the ears like an earmold will.
Learn how to use the other features.
Once you begin getting comfortable wearing your new hearing instruments, you can start to explore its other features. Your hearing specialist will help you learn more about the features of your hearing aids. Specific hearing devices allow users to connect to other devices, such as cell phones, tablets, and TVs, to maximize their usage. So don’t forget to talk to your hearing care provider about the features available for your hearing aids.
Stay up on your hearing aid maintenance.
It’s essential to take great care of your hearing aids through proper storage, daily cleaning, and regular charging. Your hearing specialist will show you all the appropriate ways to care for your hearing aid. It is also helpful to have your hearing aids professionally checked and cleaned once to twice yearly to ensure they are working correctly.
Get the most out of your hearing aids by working with our hearing specialists at Salem Audiology Clinic and Woodburn Hearing Center. We provide services ranging from hearing aids to cochlear implant mapping. Contact us today at (971) 701-6322 to make an appointment with a hearing care professional.