If you’ve taken the step to do something about your hearing loss – congratulations! It can be a big decision.
After all, life’s busy, and dealing with your loss of hearing can be one more thing on the list of ‘things to do’.
So, once you’ve made the decision to have hearing aids fitted, what should you expect?
The short answer is: to hear better. Naturally, that’s the whole idea.
Though it’s important to realise that your hearing aids won’t completely restore your hearing. But with the right fitting, they’ll certainly make it easier for you to hear all the sounds you love.
A period of adjustment to your new hearing aids
Of course, everybody is different. And, if you’ve had hearing loss for some time, you’ve probably gotten used to how you hear sounds.
The job of hearing aids is to amplify sound. New hearing technologies are designed to help you hear as close to ‘natural’ hearing as possible.
However, there’s usually a bit of a settling-in period as you start getting used to new sounds. Voices, the television, music, and even the ticking of a clock. They’ll all sound different once you start wearing hearing aids.
Your brain and your central auditory system will take a little time to sort out the new information received through your ears.
Some of the common experiences we hear from new hearing aid wearers include:
- Everything seems too loud
- Voices sound strange – even their own
- People get tired quickly because they’re not used to all the ‘noise’
Customising your hearing aids to suit your needs
There’s no doubt it will take a bit of time for you to get used to the sounds your ears and your brain are receiving.
There’s also a new routine around using the new hearing aid technology you’ve chosen – changing or charging up batteries, routine cleaning, for example.
Your hearing care clinician will usually need to adjust your hearing devices at least a couple of times after your first fitting. After all, if you’ve had hearing loss for years, suddenly hearing a world of sounds can be a bit of a shock.
At My Hearing, we’ll almost always adjust your hearing aids so that early on, you’re hearing sounds at around 70-80% of normal volume.
Then, over a couple of visits, we’ll gradually increase the level of amplification, adjusting the volume of sound you hear. This adjustment will then precisely match your hearing loss prescription at a level that suits you.
Most of the new hearing devices we recommend also make automatic adjustments to your hearing environment. This means that if you’re in an environment with a lot of background noise and trying to hear a conversation, your hearing aids will focus on the voice.
Tips for adjusting to your new hearing aids
Wear your hearing aids as much as possible.
You might start wearing your hearing aids just a few hours a day. But it’s important if you’re going to get used to your new listening experience, that you wear them as often as possible.
Researchers found that by wearing your hearing aids at least 6 hours a day, you’ll soon ‘tune out’ the sounds you don’t want to hear. Essentially, you’ll get used to a new way of hearing. Your whole hearing experience, especially how you hear voices in noise, will improve over time.
Talk to your hearing care clinician
It may take up to a month for you to adjust to your new hearing aids.
And remember, your hearing care clinician is there to help you along the way. Don’t hesitate to ask them to make any adjustments you need until you’re happy with how things sound.
And finally, the advantages of wearing hearing aids to make up for your hearing loss are many. Not only will you hear better and feel more part of conversations, but there’s research to show that it’s good for your brain. In a recent study, hearing aids were shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. Now that’s good news!