Hearing aids provide an amazing benefit to the user. However, with anything new, it will take some time to adjust to hearing aids. Every individual will take their own amount of time to adjust to the hearing aid. That is why we put together a list of tips and information to the new user of hearing aids to better understand the process of acclimating to the hearing aids as well as what to expect during the first 60 days.
What are some of the unexpected things first time hearing aid users deal with?
The acclimation period.
When you first start wearing hearing aids users tend to think that when they first wear them they will automatically hear the world as if they never had hearing loss. That is not the case, it takes your brain a few weeks to process the new sounds you are perceiving for the first time in what could be many years. The acclimation process varies from person to person but on average it can take 30 days of consistent wearing to feel not only comfortable wearing the hearing aids but for the hearing aids themselves to stimulate their auditory pathways.
How can users make the most of their hearing aids?
Users should wear them every day.
Not only does wearing your hearing aid everyday help stimulate the auditory pathways, but it also makes it so you adjust to your hearing aids faster. You should be wearing hearing aids in every listening environment possible. Take note of where you find yourself having problems hearing with the hearing aids and speak to your specialist. Most hearing aids will require an adjustment or two to really bring out the best you can hear using them.
Make sure your hearing aids are clean and checked periodically by your specialist.
All hearing aids require a level of maintenance whether you have behind the ear, completely in the canal, or in the canal hearing aids. It is best to consult with your specialist on how to properly maintain the hearing aids. Replacing wax filters, and changing domes are very easy to do with a little guidance. There are wonderful videos online that walk you through the process step by step. For persons that produce a lot of wax, it's recommended that you visit your doctor's office for ear wax removal regularly. Before your hearing aids warranty expires it is recommended that you have your hearing aids sent out for repair to ensure everything is in working order with the units.
Remote programing is a surefire way to achieve success wearing hearing aids.
Communication is key to the successful ownership of hearing aids. If you do not communicate with your specialist about any problems you are having with the hearing aids it can almost be assured that the wearer will not find success using them. With the advancement in technologies over the last few years, many of the top hearing aid manufacturers now offer a solution to make communication and adjustment of the hearing aids easier for everybody. Remote programming is a way a specialist can connect directly to the hearing aids and speak with you at the same time. It allows for adjustments to be made in real-time that you can give feedback on right away.
Keep realistic goals.
Think about phone conversations. Even with the best phones, there is still that subtle difference to the sound as a voice is transmitted over a phone line or via cellular signal. The same goes for the sounds you hear with your hearing aids. You’re going to experience those sounds a little different through hearing aids than you remember experiencing them before hearing loss. That’s okay! Celebrate the improvements to your hearing, even if it’s not exactly the same as before.
Take your time and hearing aids can really make a difference in your life. Millions of people benefit from hearing aids every day. With practice and patience, you can achieve a level of hearing you may have not had in years. Remember that regaining your hearing is a process so take your time and you will find that wearing hearing aids is not only comfortable but rewarding.