Getting a hearing aid is a very important step in recognizing and taking care of hearing impairment. Nevertheless, many people do not wear their hearing aids regularly or feel uncomfortable and frustrated by the choice they have made. Many of these issues happen mostly because wearers do not allow themselves time for adjustment to the new environment, have different expectations of the device or have not chosen the right hearing aid for their problem.
However, all these outcomes can be avoided by having a sufficient amount of information on the suitable hearing aid and how to get used to wearing it. Setting the right expectations will not lead to disappointment or denial that the hearing aid is helpful.
The first and most important thing to remember is that your hearing aid’s main function is to alleviate your hearing loss. It cannot cure it. Hearing aids will help you cope better with everyday activities and depending on the severity of your hearing impairment will let you better understand speech and communicate with others. You should not expect, though, that after putting on your hearing aid it will perform instantly to the degree that you expect. The brain needs time to adjust and get used to the new sounds you hear. Hearing aids do not act in the same way as glasses that have an immediate effect.
There is no pre-defined time that you should allocate to get used to your hearing aids, as every person is different and depending on the individual condition, learning and adjusting time may vary considerably. Nevertheless, after obtaining your hearing aid be patient and be prepared for a period of slow adaptation to the sounds that you hear. It may take a few weeks to a few months for you to completely feel the advantages of your hearing aid.
Start by using your hearing aid for a couple of hours at first and gradually increase that use time every day until you feel comfortable wearing it the whole day. Try wearing it in quiet environments first and when you are accustomed to those you may then try using them in more noisy situations. The sounds you hear initially may seem unnatural, too loud or too many with a lot of background noise but with time the brain will learn how to pick up the sounds that are needed and you will pay less attention to the rest. This brain adjustment is merely a reflection of receiving sounds again that may not have been heard in many years but that now require ‘filtering’ as the brain always used to do. Many hearing aids such as the HD 350 and HD 400 digital behind the ear hearing aids suppress background noise and they can be helpful particularly during this period of adjustment.
- Be patient and allow yourself time to adjust to the hearing aid and the new sounds it will provide
- Avoid noisy places until you feel completely comfortable with your hearing aid
- Do not try to wear you hearing aid the whole day from the start
- Do not expect to restore your normal hearing but to alleviate your current condition
- Do not feel discouraged by background noise, it will get better with time
Regardless of which hearing aid you have chosen, be prepared to get to know it as it gets to know you. Do not expect instant results and crystal hearing from the beginning. Remember that with time you will get accustomed to the new sounds you hear and differentiate between them and feel the benefits of your hearing device.