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What You Should Know About Your First Hearing Aid

Get ready for big changes! If you are a first time hearing aid user, you’re about to once again hear the melodic sound of birds chirping and the buzzing of conversations with your loved ones. While hearing aids will not restore your natural hearing, they will significantly increase your ability to hear. Most people purchase their first hearing aids five to seven years into their hearing loss and commonly underestimate how far their hearings loss has progressed. Putting on a hearing aid for the first time is an exciting and transformative experience, but it still might take some getting used to.

With your new hearing aid, your once daily struggles to hear and understand voices will finally diminish. In order to help ease your transition here is our list of top 10 pro-tips for first time hearing aid users:

  1. If you purchased your first pair of hearing aids, make sure you always wear both at the same time to ensure sounds are properly calibrated and can be translated properly to your brain.
  2. You may not recognize some of the sounds around you at first. The last time you heard your car door dinging with the keys in the ignition may have been years ago, so it will take time to adjust to the new sounds. With your first hearing aid, the world may seem noisier than your remembered, but this is all part of the adjustment stage.
  3. Once you are comfortable wearing your hearing aids, make sure to take them out at night and when taking a shower. Your hearing aids will begin to feel like an extension of yourself, and it can be easy to forget to take them off. We recommend getting into the routine of establishing a “home base” for your hearing aids to make sure you don’t misplace them when you take them off at various points during the day. Even your hearing aids need a rest!
  4. Your first hearing aids may not be the best for every situation. Though many hearing aids have settings for outdoor, party, conversation, etc., you may not need your hearing aid for every moment of every day depending on your hearing loss. Test your pair in various experiences to see what works best for you. When you’re not using it, you can always put it back in that “home base” you’ve set for yourself.
  5. There will be a learning curve with volume, but don’t get frustrated when the balance seems off. While you may have blared your television at full blast before, you will find a new balance with the volume on your hearing aid.
  6. Your hearing aid specialist can help you understand various settings to ensure you have the best possible hearing in every situation. But don’t be alarmed if at first certain sounds might come through louder and could distract you; this is normal.
  7. Don’t be afraid to speak with your hearing aid specialist if something feels off with your first hearing aid. You should be comfortable within three to four weeks, but if that is not the case, consult a professional.
  8. Don’t forget that you will have to change the battery. Depending on what type of battery your hearing aid uses, a battery will last anywhere from three to ten days. Know the signs and notifications for a battery change — your hearing aid might ding or beep in a particular way when it’s time for a battery change, so be aware of what noises to be listening for.
  9. What might be the biggest change is the sound of your own voice. Instead of hearing yourself speak through only your own head, you will hear the sound of your voice amplified through speakers. This may seem strange at first, but you should regulate to it relatively quickly.
  10. Finally, always be proud of your hearing aids, as they help you live loudly and hear the world around you!

Always remember to be patient with yourself and your first hearing aids. They are meant to help you, but it will take some time to familiarize yourself with their uses and the new world around you!

By: Diana Michel

4 responses to “What You Should Know About Your First Hearing Aid

  1. Great Timing! I should receive my trial pair of aids on Monday 8/1, and found your article very informative and helpful, since I am new to the world of hearing aids. And thanks to Audicus. Very glad I stumbled on this website. Keep the ads/offers/helpful info coming.

  2. In 1995, a coworker suggested, out of concern, that I get a hearing test. Reluctantly, I went to the audiologist. They diagnosed me with a mild hearing loss. Shortly thereafter I got my first set of hearing aids..big bulky things. They helped in day-to-day situations; but I hated wearing them and, at that point, I could “get by without them.

    When I went back to college in 2014, my hearing was markedly worse. After another hearing test, the doctors found my hearing had dropped off significantly. There was no way around it, I would be forced to wear hearing aids. But technology has advanced and some aids are available in a tiny, earbud-like device. Some have Bluetooth and noise cancellation. I bought a new set of “mini aids” and had been satisfied.

    This brings me to the present, at a recent appointment doctors said my hearing has dropped drastically since 2013..and that I’ll lose my hearing entirely within 5-7 years. I was shocked. After many tests, they think they discovered the cause.

    Back in Nov. 2012 I acquired a hospital-borne infection called CRE. Some of my nursing friends can attest to how bad this is. The deadly bacteria, often lives in hospital breathing tubes–I was on a ventilator for 17-days. The infection spread through my lungs and into bloodstream. The strain I had was “pan resistant” and didn’t respond to any antibiotics. Docs obtained permission from my mother to treat me with “Colistin” and “tobramycin”. Two old antibiotics taken off market 40 years ago. The strategy worked, I was finally off of the ventilator and eventually got better; finally out out of the hospital in January.

    Today the bacteria is gone. But the antibiotics damaged nerves in my ears. There is no cure, the damage is permanent and degenerative. I already had a mild hearing impairment, the toxicity effects were a tipping point, my hearing will be gone within 5-7 years. There are options for me. Short-term, I say bye-bye to my “mini hearing aids” and upsize to the big type. Doctors think cochlear implants may be an option to restore some sense of hearing once the hearing aids stop working. With technology advances, in 5 years the implants will be far better. However, insurance companies view cochlear implants as a means to comfort the patient and they balk at the huge price. The likelihood insurance will cover them is slim. If I were 19, maybe. But at 44-yrs old, its like putting a paint job on an old rusty clunker. Lol. I wanted to bring awareness to hearing impairment. Regular “old age” loss and the pathological types. There are degrees of hearing loss. The majority being manageable. But, for those of us faced with profound degenerative condition, there are options and treatments to preserve/prolong your hearing.

    Maybe one of you is trying to “manage” or “get by” with a hearing loss. Maybe you don’t want to admit it, you’re too proud. Maybe you’re scared. Take it from me, there are far worse things in life than losing your hearing. So swallow your pride, don’t be scared and take charge! Go to an audiologist or talk to a doctor. There may be time and a treatment to preserve or even restore your hearing. Maybe you’ll do just fine with the “mini hearing aids” I’ve been using, they aren’t that bad!#GetYourEarsChecked #GoingDeafNotDead

    P.S. If you need a set of hearing aids and would like a huge discount, check this out: https://www.audicus.com/hearing-aids-referral-program

  3. You stated that if you purchased your first pair of hearing aids, make sure you always wear both at the same time to ensure sounds are properly calibrated and can be translated properly to your brain. Do most audiologists provide training to people who are newly fitted with hearing aids? My mother has been having a lot of problems with her hearing ever since she fell down the stairs. Going to see an audiologist about hearing aids might be a good idea.

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