While many people dread visiting their doctor, your local audiologist also
Is There An Adjustment Period For Hearing Aids?
The World Health Organization predicts that almost 2.5 billion people will live with some form of hearing loss by 2050. Hearing loss is increasing in popularity, but thankfully, devices like hearing aids exist to make the condition manageable. You can wear modern hearing aids to enjoy what the environment naturally sounds like and a better quality of life. However, if you are new to wearing a hearing aid before or have just bought a new one, accommodating the switch to hearing aids can be challenging. As such, many people who experience hearing loss wonder if they would need some time to get used to the device.
What to expect when you get new hearing aids
If you are wearing hearing aids for the first time, you will need to get used to two crucial things. Firstly, the mere physical sensation of the hearing aid inside your ear will feel a bit odd. BTE, ITC, and ITE hearing aids have a unique “presence” that can be very different from what you are used to. As such, these hearing aids can feel like earplugs, blocking the normal flow of air in and out of your ear canal. In addition, it can feel like your ears are bunged up due to the constant contact between the device and your ear canal wall. Fortunately, adjusting to this feeling is easier once you notice how much your listening experience has improved.
You may also notice sudden changes in the sounds you hear if your hearing loss is severe. For instance, your voice might sound a tad strange, as though you were talking into a barrel. However, this should be temporary, so return to your audiologist for an adjustment if it doesn’t go away.
Also, you may suddenly hear sounds you haven’t heard in a while, like birds chirping or children playing outdoors. Your brain will need time to prioritize these sounds and isolate the important from the unimportant. Additionally, your reintroduction to the entire sound spectrum might result in various pitches of sounds, some seeming too loud. Over time, your auditory cortex will process incoming sounds more accurately, adjusting perceived sound levels realistically.
Getting used to your hearing aids
You may need about four months to get used to your hearing aids and enjoy them to the fullest. However, there are many things you can do within this period to adjust realistically and effectively. Therefore, you can:
Wear your device throughout the day
You need to get accustomed to ambient noises that your hearing aids pick up, so it is essential to wear them throughout the day. However, start by wearing them for three to four hours daily, mainly when conversing with others. Then, increase your wearing time gradually over the next few weeks till they stay on all day eventually. The longer you can wear your hearing aids, the more chances your brain can adjust to your new sound environment.
Learn about your hearing aid
Today’s hearing aids are sophisticated devices with many settings designed to boost the quality of your sound experience. Therefore, it takes time for many wearers to learn how to use all the features. Consequently, use this period to consult your audiologist, who can teach you how to use all of your device’s features to your advantage.
Listen to the television and radio
If you have had hearing loss for a long time, your brain will undoubtedly need time to interpret incoming sounds accurately. In addition, the entire experience of hearing voices through a hearing aid for the first time can be unfamiliar. Therefore, many audiologists recommend practicing using your hearing aids while listening to the radio or watching the news. Reporters often speak clearly so your brain can adjust to such sounds quickly. If possible, turn down the sound to a reasonable level with the assistance of a family member or friend without hearing loss. This way, you can adjust your sound environment to a suitable level for your device.
Be realistic and patient
It takes time to get used to your hearing aids, so patience is vital within this period. Also, have realistic expectations since your hearing aids will help you hear better, not perfectly. Your audiologist needs feedback to fine-tune your hearing experience, so critical feedback is crucial to enjoying the necessary adjustments that can improve your hearing.
How Sommerville Audiology & Hearing Aid Center can help you hear better
We provide advanced testing methods and effective treatment options to help our patients hear better. In addition, we offer the best in hearing aid technology, complete with various features and options to suit diverse needs, lifestyles, and budgets.
Contact us today at 586-298-3788 to get started.