Congratulations, you’ve got, or are soon to get, hearing aids. These mini miracles of hearing technology really can transform your life. But there is an adjustment period. Going from impaired hearing to hearing more sounds than perhaps you’ve heard in years can actually be overwhelming. To help ease you into life with your hearing aids, it’s good to know what to expect when you first start using them, as well as a few tips to help you adjust. So let’s get started…
A funny feeling
Whether you wear behind the ear or in the ear hearing aids, it will take a few days for you to get used to the feel of having something placed in your ears.
Sounds, so many sounds
Hearing aids will restore your ability to hear all kinds of sounds, which is great but also overwhelming. You won’t yet be used to filtering out background noise but that ability will return. So ease yourself in and wear your hearing aids for a few hours a day to start with, gradually increasing the time you spend wearing them over the first few weeks.
It’s all so loud
The world is a noisy place and now that you can hear all of those sounds you may find it a bit too much. So avoid going to that concert or big party until you’ve had time to adjust to hearing more. Start by wearing your hearing aids in a quiet room or at home and then gradually wear them in more noisy environments. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to rock at the next music festival or all set to dance the night away at the next big bash.
I sound weird
One sound you might expect to be used to is the sound of your own voice. But with your hearing aids on you may find you sound a little strange. This is perfectly normal and something you will quickly adjust to.
Keeping up the conversation
Hearing isn’t just about listening, it’s also about understanding. Following conversations will still be easier with your hearing aids if you directly face the person you are talking to. Start by chatting with familiar friends and family. This will give your brain the chance to get used to processing conversational speech again.
Above all, give yourself time. Don’t rush into wearing your hearing aids 24/7 too soon. And if you’re ever not sure about whether your hearing aids are working as they should or are concerned about any aspect of your hearing, get in touch with one of our audiologists at SLENT.
Dr. JJ Martinez served active duty in the United States Marine Corps before receiving his bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2005 and his doctoral degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2010. He completed internships at North Oaks Hospital, Tulane University Hospital, and several audiology practices in the greater New Orleans area as well as a year long externship with a private practice in Hammond, LA. Dr. Martinez is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.