Adjusting to your new hearing aids can be uncomfortable at first, both physically and mentally. There is a new sensation of something ever-present in your ear, along with all the new sounds you’re now able to pick up on. Luckily, with a bit of practice, you can become well-adjusted to your new life with hearing aids.
Why you have to get used to hearing amplifiers
Hearing loss is typically gradual. This means that some of the sounds you used to hear have slowly faded away. Your brain is no longer used to processing so many different sounds at once, so wearing hearing amplifiers may feel overwhelming at first. Small, seemingly insignificant sounds, such as a bird singing, may seem louder than usual under the aid of your new hearing device.
Unlike glasses, which give you sharper vision immediately, hearing devices can take some time to get used to. On average, it takes wearers four months to acclimate to their first set of hearing amplifiers.
Also read: Best Hearing Amplifiers under $200
Retrain your brain
A great way to get used to your hearing amplifiers is to break them in slowly. Start by wearing them 2-3 hours per day, and gradually increase the time. Feel free to remove them if you’re feeling overwhelmed and try again later in the day.
You’re not just adjusting to sounds coming from outside. With a new hearing device, you’re also adjusting the volume of your own voice. When experiencing hearing loss, we tend to overcompensate by raising our own voices while speaking, something well-meaning friends and family may have pointed out.
With proper hearing, you are suddenly more aware of your own volume. Learning to regulate the volume of your voice again can take some practice. A great way to do this is to read aloud to yourself. This helps you train in private and at your own pace.
Reading while listening is another way to teach your brain to rewire the sounds you’re hearing. Watching TV with closed captioning on or following along with the texts of an audio book are great ways to retrain your brain.
Visiting with your loved ones is not only a good way to improve your hearing amplifier adjustment, but it’s good for the soul, too. Call over close friends and family, whose voices your brain is already accustomed to, and catch up over a cup of coffee.
What you should expect
While your hearing is improved, you may not be hearing things the same way you remember from before. For now, hearing amplifiers can’t pick up organic sounds the way the ear does. This is normal, and it’s important to stay positive. Focus on enjoying the new-again sounds, even if they sound slightly different than you remember.
Avoid the urge to regularly adjust the volume in your hearing amplifiers. You may be tempted to raise and lower the volume based on your environment, but by doing that, you rob yourself of the important opportunity to allow your brain to self-regulate. This self-regulation is an important part of the adjustment process. Instead of adjusting the volume, it’s a good idea to take a moment and focus on listening to the sounds you hear.
Above all, having patience is the most important part of this process. When frustration sets in, remind yourself that this isn’t permanent. With a bit of time and practice, you’ll be hearing better and be better adjusted to your hearing amplifiers.
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