Using hearing aids for the first time? Here are some tips that you might need and should consider when you use hearing aids for the first time.
1. Things may sound very differently all of a sudden but you just have to get used to it
When you use hearing aids for the first time, sounds usually will feel a lot more different than what you remembered them to be. If you’re someone who had severe hearing loss for a very long time and suddenly started using hearing aids, it will feel weird because you have been used to things sounding very soft for such a long time.
But this is a common experience for every hearing aid user – sounds feel a lot more different at the start, but over time they get used to it and can enjoy hearing what they love again.
There also tends to be a common misconception that when one starts wearing hearing aids, the hearing aids will instantly make them hear better, like wearing a pair of glasses would. This is not true, because hearing is a much more sophisticated body function and hearing aids need to be adjusted a few more times in order to help you hear better. Of course, this also means that you’ll have to give yourself both the time and effort to get used to your hearing devices. This also brings us to the next point:
2. Don’t skip follow-up and adjustment sessions with your audiologist
As mentioned, hearing aids require more time to get used to. In order to facilitate that process, your audiologist would want to help you speed up the process by adjusting and personalizing your hearing aids so that you can hear your best.
If you skip out on these sessions, you would only delay how fast your hearing aids will feel comfortable and you might not even be getting the most out of what your hearing aid is supposed to do, which is to provide a better hearing experience.
3. Get support from your loved ones
Using hearing aids for the first time might be daunting and getting the support from your family and friends is essential. Have someone patient practice one-on-one conversations with you to help you get used to your hearing aids.
If you’re helping someone get used to their new hearing aids, be supportive and even if they can’t help perfectly what you’re saying, find ways to work around it or raise this up to their audiologist that the hearing aids isn’t working adequately enough. Aim to resolve problems with them and not introduce new ones like saying “you still can’t hear even with hearing aids.” Understand that hearing aids need time to get used to.
4. Don’t skip out on maintenance for your hearing aids
This tends to happen more often than not due to forgetfulness rather than negligence. It’s important for you to keep your hearing aids clean and well-maintained so that they can continue providing quality sounds. The maintenance also goes a long way in prolonging the lifespan of your hearing aids so you don’t have to replace them that quickly. Hearing aids that are well taken care of can last up to an average of 5 years, whereas they can last up to 3 years if not properly maintained.
5. Practice using your hearing aids in different environments
A good way to get used to your new hearing aids is to practice listening to different sounds in different environments. Sounds have different volumes and frequencies, so it’s good to get used to them early so that they start feeling natural to you more quickly.
6. Expect that your hearing may still change over time and check your hearing regularly
Everyone’s hearing patterns will change over time, especially as one ages. So it is important that you get your hearing tested regularly (e.g. once a year or so) to make sure that your hearing has not worsen too much. If your hearing gets worse, you might not even notice it because it happened gradually and your hearing aids would become obsolete.
7. Take regular breaks at the start
Using your hearing aids in continuous long sessions can be tiring, because of how you aren’t used to how sounds feel like. Take short breaks regularly at the start, and gradually increase the duration you wear them until you’re fully comfortable with them.
Using hearing aids for your first time is a whole new experience. You might taken a while to get used to them, but with the right support and mindset, you’ll be able to enjoy sounds that you love that you weren’t able to fully embrace before.