Hearing loss is a common chronic condition affecting millions of Americans. While, in most cases, hearing loss is permanent, the good news is that hearing aids are an excellent treatment option that can benefit an estimated 28.8 million adults in the United States alone.
If you are curious about getting hearing aids or have just been fitted for your first pair, it’s important to know that there is often an adjustment phase when you have a new device and that it can take time before you feel as though you are hearing your best.
Let’s go over a few things you can expect when you get new hearing aids and tips for making the adjustment process easier.
Sounds May Seem Different or Overwhelming at First
When you have hearing loss, you start to lose the ability to pick up on certain sounds and stimuli. Hearing them again for the first time can feel intense and overwhelming, particularly if you’ve had hearing loss for several years before seeking treatment.
Additionally, you may notice your voice sounds different, which can be jarring for some users, as it can sound unfamiliar or louder than you would prefer. These sensations will dissipate the more you wear your hearing aids, but it can take weeks to a few months to fully adjust. It’s important to be prepared and patient during that time so you don’t get too frustrated.
Five Ways to Make Adjusting to Your Hearing Aids Easier
- Wear them at home first. Heading out to a busy restaurant like Woodblock the first night you get your hearing aids is guaranteed to be too much to handle. Instead, start using your devices in quieter settings, like your home, to practice using them and getting used to how things sound when you wear them.
- Have one-on-one conversations. Practice conversing with a family member or a close friend to get used to communicating with others. This lets you get used to your voice and listen to others while wearing your hearing aids.
- Take breaks, but be consistent. While you want to get to a place where you’re wearing your hearing aids during the vast majority of your waking hours, no one expects you to do that at first. Start with a few hours and gradually increase your time. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a break, but not too many. Consistent use is the best way to adjust to your hearing aids faster.
- Attend follow-up visits with your audiologist. During the adjustment process, your audiologist may need to change your settings a few times after getting real-world feedback from you. Additionally, you can go over any questions or concerns you may have.
- Report pain or discomfort. While hearing aids take some time to get used to, they should never hurt or cause swelling or itchiness. If you’re experiencing this type of discomfort, you may be putting them in incorrectly, or they may need to be refitted.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.