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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!