Latest posts by Dr. David Dekriek (see all)
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Once you have made the leap to a life of better hearing with hearing aids, there is usually an adjustment period. The first few days can often be a challenge of navigating the world with your new hearing. While this adjustment period can be challenging, here are a few tips to help you get used to your new devices and start hearing your life to its fullest potential.
Don’t Give Up
Your ears and brain will need a little time to adjust to the feeling of your hearing aids. You may be able to feel the devices in your ears, but that will most likely become less prominent in a few days. Hearing loss happens in the brain, and if you’ve waited awhile to seek treatment, your brain will also need time to readjust to the onslaught of clear sounds. Give yourself time to embrace the change. Once you master your hearing aids, they will truly improve your days.
If you need to, it’s all right to only wear your new devices in comfortable situations and environments for the first few days. Many professionals recommend that you eventually try to wear them during your waking hours. The more sounds you are able to recognize as bothersome can help your hearing healthcare professional make adjustments in your follow-up visits.
Begin in Quiet
On the first day, sit in a quiet room in your house and start getting used to your rediscovered ability to hear faint sounds like the air conditioner or buzzing electronics. These sounds might seem unusually loud at first because your brain hasn’t acclimated to hearing them with this level of clarity. It shouldn’t take long for your brain to adjust to hearing these subtle sounds again.
Don’t Play with the Volume
Your hearing aids have been fine-tuned by your hearing provider to treat your degree of hearing loss. If sounds appear loud at first, this is because you were previously missing these sounds. Most likely, your hearing aids will adjust to different listening situations automatically, so they shouldn’t need to be manually adjusted. After a few days, if you are either struggling to hear or find that sounds are uncomfortably loud, visit us at Fidelity Hearing Centers for adjustments.
Practice Conversations in Groups
Start having conversations with your close friends and family, as familiar voices are the easiest to identify. Hearing still requires active listening. Active listening means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker. Make sure you face the speaker while they’re talking. This will help your brain reconnect the dots between sounds, vocal patterns, and nonverbal body language.
Watch with Captions or Subtitles
Listening to and reading words at the same time is a great way to help retrain your brain to connect sounds and language. Turn on your television’s closed captioning and enable subtitles when you watch a movie. The same tactic can be applied to a popular book. Try listening to an audio book while you read a hard copy of the book. You could also get a friend to read aloud to you while you follow along to help retrain your ears.
Read aloud to yourself
The sound of your own voice might sound funny to you at first, but this will also resolve itself after a few days. If you read to yourself out loud, it can help you get used to your voice and, if necessary, retrain yourself to speak at an appropriate volume.
Practice Listening Exercises
Try to identify the direction from which sounds are coming with your eyes closed. It’s helpful to use only your hearing to discern between different types of sounds and speech patterns.
Position Your Phone Over Your Hearing Aid Microphone
Tilt the phone forward slightly so that it’s right over your device’s microphone. This will help your device pick up the phone’s sound waves as efficiently as possible. For devices that are behind the ear, the microphone is usually located on the portion of the hearing aid that is behind the ear. Angling the phone can help reduce any possible feedback when holding the phone up to your ear/microphone.
Work Up to Wearing them All Day Long
After about two weeks, you should be wearing your hearing aids during all your waking hours, except in the shower or while swimming. Consistency is important for your brain’s adjustment to amplification.
Visit Us at Fidelity Hearing Centers
Hearing aids can be a life changing if you commit to getting used to them. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at Fidelity Hearing Centers for adjustments or refittings. Now that you’re experiencing the benefits that come with hearing better, urge a loved one to get their hearing checked as well. Contact us at Fidelity Hearing Centers for more information!