Adapting to Your New Hearing Aids

Many hearing aids get left in the dresser drawer because the wearer does not like how the hearing aids feel or sound. The hearing aid user wants everything to sound normal”; however, in order for the hearing aid to correct the hearing loss it will make things sound different than “normal”. 

Adapting to hearing aids is a rehabilitative process. The brain has become accustomed to not hearing all that it should. For most people this has been a gradual process of losing the sounds around them. When hearing aids are inserted into the patient’s ears there is typically an immediate difference in the sound quality. The person may perceive other people’s voices as tinny or they may perceive their own voice as booming. The brain is now noting the difference from hearing with and without the devices. 

The new hearing aid user needs to allow the brain time to adapt to this new way of hearing. Provided that the hearing aids are not causing physical pain, the wearer should try to wear the devices regularly. Consistency will allow the brain to establish a “new normal”. 

Many people cannot wear their new hearing aids for the entire day at the beginning. If you are feeling overwhelmed it is best to start with 2 hours and then take a break. Then try again for 2 hours. As this becomes more comfortable increase to 3 hours and then 4 hours until you can wear them all day. 

Also, it is best not to start out in loud noisy environments such as restaurants or in crowds. Good places to start your practice, is at home, watching television and going out where there is only a small group of people. As you gain confidence and comfort in those environments you can branch out into large crowds and noisier environments. 

If the hearing aids hurt in anyway take the devices out and contact your individual provider right away. Pain is not an acceptable option. They are not like shoes and your ear will not break our hearing aids in. 

Above all don’t give up!! If you are frustrated, talk with your provider. They may be able to make adjustments to your hearing aids to allow a more gradual transition.