When did you last hear the trill of birds singing outside your kitchen window? Five years ago? Ten? Since hearing loss is often gradual, you probably can’t pinpoint a date. Most likely, small sounds began to disappear from your life before you even realized you had hearing loss.
Your brain adjusted to not being able to hear over a long period of time, and when you get your first hearing aids and begin wearing them, the most important factor to remember is that your brain will need time to adjust to hearing again as well.
What does ‘adjusting’ to your first hearing aid mean?
With your first hearing aid, you will have the opportunity to enjoy sounds you have been missing out on. That’s a wonderful experience, but with your ability to hear again, some noises that you weren’t picking up on before will now seem overly loud.
The tick of the clock or the hum of the refrigerator could annoy you. You may be startled by the roar of traffic, and you might go from asking people to speak up to asking them to lower their voices. This is normal.
When you receive your hearing aids, it is important to wear them regularly so that you become used to them, but don’t be afraid to take breaks if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Some hearing aid wearers like to take things slowly, wearing the hearing aids for only a few hours at a time at first. Others prefer to wear their hearing aids continually but take 30-minute to an hour breaks from the hearing aids throughout the day.
However you decide to approach it, you’ll need to commit to wearing your hearing devices regularly. If you don’t get into the habit of putting your hearing aids in, you are not going to adjust to them as quickly someone who wears their hearing aids on a daily basis.
How long it takes to adjust depends on your lifestyle and the effort you put into wearing and getting to know your hearing aids.
Shouldn’t I be able to just put in my hearing aids and go?
In theory, yes. Hearing aid technology is simple enough on the surface. Hearing aids are made for everyday use with everyday people in mind, so you don’t need to have experience or training to use one.
For example, the HearClear HCR3 Rechargeable Hearing Aid is designed for convenience. It’s rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about battery replacements, and it accommodates a wide range of hearing loss. It's possible to put the hearing aid in and wear it without preparation.
However, the HCR3 provides you with four programmable memory settings for a variety of hearing situations. If you don’t take the time to learn the settings and when to use them, you won’t reap the full benefit of your hearing aid.
In addition, all hearing aids require upkeep. The tubes and domes attached to your hearing device will require regular cleaning to maintain sound quality.
If a hearing aid stops producing sound, it is often due to a blockage in the tube or dome and the situation can be remedied with a thorough cleaning.
The cleaning process is simple and only takes a few minutes. Unfortunately, people often don’t take the time to care for their hearing aids.
What about the fit?
It may take some time for you to develop a comfortable physical fit. If you’ve worn eyeglasses before, you know that it takes time to become accustomed to the physical feeling of wearing them. The same is true of hearing aids. After you have worn a hearing device for a while, it begins to feel natural.
If your hearing aid feels uncomfortable, however, and it’s not due to unfamiliarity, it may be necessary to adjust your hearing aid tubes or switch to a different sized dome. Watch our video on The Best Fit below:
If you believe the dome is the problem, watch our other video, Finding the Right Dome, for more information.
What if I can’t hear as well as I thought I would?
Different hearing aids are designed to work for different levels of hearing loss. If you have been wearing your new hearing aids but haven’t noticed a difference in your hearing, you may need more advanced hearing aids.
You may also be expecting more out of your hearing aids than is reasonable. While hearing aids are wonderful devices that can vastly improve your quality of life, they can’t cure hearing impairment.
Please know that while hearing aids do improve hearing significantly in many cases, your hearing will likely not be the same as it was before you suffered hearing loss.
If you didn’t see a doctor or take a hearing test before you purchased a hearing aid and your hearing aid is not working as well as you had hoped it would, you may want to seek help from a hearing professional.
At Advanced Affordable Hearing, we also have an Online Hearing Check that can help you gauge the severity of your hearing loss.
It is not an official diagnosis, but if you are considering purchasing a hearing aid, it can give you an idea of where you fall on the hearing loss scale and help you choose the right device based on your hearing challenges.
If you have questions about choosing your first hearing aid, don’t hesitate to call the Advanced Affordable Hearing team at 1 (800) 804-0434.