Adjustment Tips for New Hearing Aid Users
A hearing aid can be a big step, and making the transition can take some considerable time and effort. With the help of an audiologist, you can assess your hearing aid needs. Once you have a good assessment and recommendations, you can buy hearing aids online, and find the right device for you.
It may have taken a long time for your hearing to gradually worsen. Learning to adapt to this sudden return of sensory information will require a period of adjustment. At first use, you may find yourself quite sensitive to background noises and be hyper-aware of things you’ve lost sensitivity to. Increased loudness could be perceived. Switching to sudden higher fidelity can feel a bit jarring at first, but you will acclimate. Your brain just needs time to relearn how to assess which noises are important to pick out and which don’t require the same focus and when.
To get the most out of your hearing aid, it can often take up to four months to become used to your new device. Hearing aids can also need adjusting several times in the first months of use, so don’t be afraid to consult your hearing specialist and try to find the balance you need.
Accept Your Hearing Impairment
Acceptance is vital. Don’t hide your impairment from friends and family and ask for help and patience from those around you while in this adjustment period. It is often just as hard (if not harder) to admit your impairment to yourself, but this is a necessary step in committing to the work, practice, and persistence you will need to become comfortable in the use of your hearing aid.
Building these skills again and adjusting to life with a hearing aid isn’t easy. Fatigue and stimulation can be overwhelming. Perhaps the most important step is commitment. Try to keep your journey in perspective. Keeping a schedule and log of your aid usage over this period can help remind you of your progress.
Don’t Jump In Too Deep Too Quickly
Hearing aids require you to re-learn a skill set. You have to now actively learn something quickly that you passively learned throughout your life. It is easy to become overwhelmed at first. Try to increase how much you use them in a day, but don’t push too far past the point of mental fatigue. Interpretive and identifying auditory skills will come with practice and patience.
Stick to a schedule. Start out wearing them part-time and gradually work up to full-time usage.
Use Them In Diverse Situations
You will need to re-learn many skills, particularly how to isolate specific sounds and filter background noise. Your brain needs time and practice in learning how to focus and what to focus on.
Try listening in crowded areas with a lot of mixed noises (think bar or restaurant, a train station, or a sporting event). This may feel overwhelming at first, but can be good training in focusing on what you need to focus on and being able to push your focus away from less relevant sounds.
Use them in intimate situations like one on one conversations to help build speech recognition. Using them around quiet sounds and white noise can also be key to adjusting these sounds into your subconscious again.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice and patience are so important. This process will take time and dedication, but once you put in the time and can endure the mental fatigue of thinking about everything you hear, your brain will begin to hear without so much active thought.
This adjustment period is necessary. Hearing aids can come with a minimum three week trial period and often have six to eight week money back guarantees. With personal commitment and the assistance of your doctor, friends, and family, your hearing aid will begin to feel natural and intuitive.