Congratulations, you have taken an important step to improve the way you hear by purchasing hearing aids! The service you receive after the initial purchase is extremely important. In your journey to better hearing, are you still thinking, “Next what?”
Here are some tips to keep moving forward:
Train Your Brain: Due to the minimal number of sounds your brain previously was hearing, it gradually lost its ability to understand speech and sound. Even if it feels overwhelming, it is extremely important to wear your hearing aids as long as you can each day to help familiarize your brain with the new noises surrounding you.
Years of research suggest that it takes a typical user of hearing aid about 30 days to get adjusted to amplified sound and to realize maximum benefit. Of course, individual results will vary, so it is up to you to communicate your progress to the Audiologist and provide a detailed report of your initial experience with amplification.
Start Simple: After wearing your new hearing aids, sit in a quiet room and absorb the simple sounds surrounding you such as the ticking of a clock or the squeak of the floor. Introducing yourself to simple listening situations will help make all these sounds seem less overwhelming and also educate your brain to focus on the new sounds it is now interpreting. Eventually you will get use to places with more sounds like restaurants and group gatherings.
It may take more than a few visits to the Audiologist to get your hearing aids fine tuned. If that happens to you, be patient and work with them to “get it right.” Be aware that changing hearing aids, doesn’t always translate into instant success. Many hearing aid users expect satisfactory results to occur in a short period of time. This can be achieved by patients who make an effort and follow the prescribed treatment plan and advice.
Talk to Yourself: Do you feel like you are now talking too loud? You may not have been able to clearly hear the sound of your own voice before hearing aids. Practice talking to yourself to get a feel for the correct and appropriate volume for speaking. Also try speaking to many different people to understand the varying sound patterns and volumes.
After you have given your ears and brain a few weeks to get acclimated to new hearing aids, they should be worn every day for several hours each day. Because they are worn in a very humid ear canal that often contains large amounts of ear wax, hearing aids must be cleaned every day. This is very important. Your Audiologist should not only show you how to clean your devices, he or she should get them serviced timely depending upon it’s requirement.
Today’s hearing aids should last about 3-5 years before needing to be replaced, possibly longer if you are meticulous about taking care for them.
Because your hearing can change and problems to the instrumentation can occur without you knowing it, you should schedule periodic check-ups with your Audiologist. These check-ups should occur 2 to 4 times per year, and usually include hearing check-ups, cleaning and fine-tuning the devices.