When you first get hearing aids, a whole new world of sounds open up. Sounds you may have forgotten or taken for granted—waves crashing, birds chirping, your grandchildren’s soft whispers…expectations for sounds vary depending on the individual’s level of loss.
Although hearing aids may help you hear better, and improve your communication, comprehension and even your confidence, it can be frustrating adjusting in the beginning if you don’t know what to expect. The good part is that today’s hearing aid technology offers flexibility and ease in programming (and re-programming) sound quality. This means your hearing care professional can adjust and re-program your hearing aids until you’re comfortable—so don’t give up until you’re satisfied.
Want to learn more? Here’s what you can expect when you first purchase hearing aids.
Adjustment period. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to adjust to hearing aids, it’s not a competition—it can take anywhere from two weeks and up. You will need to get used to the new routine of wearing hearing aids and your brain needs time to adapt to processing the sounds that it’s hearing. A global study found that it takes the brain twelve weeks of intensive training— wearing a hearing aid for at least 12 hours a day—to process speech even nearly as well as before for both individuals wearing hearing aids for the first time and switching devices.
Follow up appointments to fine-tune your devices. During your follow up appointment, talk to your hearing professional and let them know how you’re adjusting. Ask questions—they may be able to help you troubleshoot and find solutions to issues you may be experiencing. Most clinics allow you to come in for adjustments until your hearing aids are just right. Purchasing your hearing aids through YourHearing Network provides you with three free adjustment visits within your 60 day trial period.
Your voice may sound different. The occlusion effect—the “plugged-up” sensation that causes a hearing aid user’s voice to sound louder inside the head—is very common for new hearing aid users. Most individuals get used to this effect over time, but if it doesn’t go away visit your hearing care professional who can help resolve the issue.
Expect to feel uncomfortable then comfortable. Try to increase the time you wear your hearing aids each day until you’re comfortable wearing them for a full day. Your hearing aids are custom made to fit your unique ear shape and are designed to be comfortable.
Expect to hear sounds you haven’t heard before. The sounds that people fit with hearing aids say they notice again might surprise you. They are the small sounds, a lot of us take for granted in our daily lives until they’re gone—or in this case return. Background noise like clanking dishes or traffic may seem annoying at first—but they are part of the adjustment period.
If you’ve given yourself time to adjust and worked with your hearing professional to find solutions, but still aren’t feeling comfortable, don’t throw in the towel. You may want to try different devices or discuss other options. Today’s hearing devices are impressive—they can scan the room around you a hundred times in one second categorizing sounds then delivering them to your ears with spot-on accuracy. Bonus—they can even connect to the Internet and to all your favorite apps, including your everyday devices in your home, car or office. Test drive a pair today.