10 Tips for Getting Used to Your New Hearing Aids

Getting Used to New Hearing Aids

Getting used to new hearing aids takes some time, as your brain has to get used to processing sounds that it may have become accustomed to not hearing due to hearing loss. While it’s thrilling to hear clearly again, getting your body to adapt to these advanced hearing devices requires commitment. This includes wearing them regularly, getting them programmed to meet your needs, doing hearing exercises, and fine-tuning them when necessary.

Discover how hearing aids work, explore valuable tips to help you smoothly transition during this adjustment period, and ensure you fully benefit from your new hearing aids.

How Do Hearing Aids Work?

Modern hearing aids are tailored specifically to amplify and clarify speech and the sounds around you. The components work together to enable you to hear a wider range of sound frequencies. But it requires patience and effort for your auditory system and brain to adapt and relearn how to understand these amplified sounds, especially after years of slowly diminishing natural hearing.

Key components of hearing aids typically include:

  • Microphones. Capture sound waves and convert them into electrical signals for amplification and processing.
  • Amplifiers. Boost the power and volume of microphone signals to amplify soft sounds, making them hearable.
  • Receivers. Convert the amplified electrical signals back into enhanced sound energy before delivery into the ear.
  • Earmolds/domes. Made-to-measure plastic molds or dome tips that comfortably fit in the ear canal for routing amplified sound waves into the ears.
  • Digital signal processing chips (in digital hearing aids). Use advanced algorithms to filter sounds, adjust frequencies, and reduce noise in real-time, making the signals clearer and more personalized.

How to Get Used to Your New Hearing Aids

Getting used to new hearing aids means wearing them regularly, training your brain to process sounds again, and learning to filter out the noises you need to ignore, like footsteps, HVAC systems, or the crunch of potato chips.

Studies have shown that it takes as little as 18 days, or around three weeks, to form a new habit or make a lifestyle change like getting new hearing aids. This is similar to a newborn’s time to learn to sleep normally after coming home from the hospital. For around three weeks, any little noise can startle the baby awake. After that time, parents can enjoy watching TV or having a normal conversation in the same room without waking up their baby.

Retraining your brain to filter the sounds your hearing aids pick up can be challenging. But the following tips can help you adjust to hearing aids quicker:

Start Slowly

Start by wearing your hearing aids for just 1-2 hours at a time when you’re at home, either alone or in a one-on-one conversation. Pay special attention to phone calls, the dialogue on TV shows, and the sounds around your house. Notice how voices and sounds become louder and clearer when wearing your hearing aids.

Observe whether you can hear background noises like the refrigerator, heating vents, ceiling fans, or traffic outside more clearly than before you had the hearing aids.

Gradually extend the time you wear them by 1-2 hours every few days, based on your comfort level. For instance, you might wear them for 3 hours on the third day or up to 5 hours by the seventh day.

Familiarize Yourself with Different Environments

Structured practice is critical when adjusting to hearing aids. If you’ve been dealing with hearing loss for years, avoid jumping straight into noisy, crowded places like restaurants. Begin with simple, direct conversations in quiet, familiar settings like your living room, where you can also rely on visual cues to help you understand what’s being said.

Then, try practicing common situations, such as ordering food in a café. Pay attention to how you can understand the server’s greeting and questions, even with the sound of blenders and music in the background. Once you feel more confident, move on to more challenging listening environments, like busy retail stores, when ready.

Practice Talking to People

Have daily conversations with family and friends in peaceful settings. Doing this helps you use facial expressions and lip-reading to better understand what’s being said.

Politely ask the people you’re talking with to face you and speak slowly and clearly. Explain that you’re getting used to your new hearing aids and retraining your ears to listen. Encourage them to pronounce important words carefully but still keep their speaking natural.

Consider listening to audiobooks while following along with the printed text to strengthen your brain’s ability to connect spoken words with their written form.

First Receive Your Hearing Aids

Attend Follow-Up Appointments

When you first receive your hearing aids, they are programmed to suit your hearing loss’s specific nature and severity. However, to fully benefit from them, have them adjusted based on your real-world experiences. If you encounter any problems, such as overly loud noises, difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, sudden changes in volume, or anything else unusual, make a note of it.

Schedule a visit with your audiologist about two weeks after you begin using your hearing aids consistently. This period allows you to adapt and allows your audiologist to make necessary adjustments.

Then, aim for monthly check-ups during the first six months. These regular meetings are essential. The more details you can provide about when and where you’re finding it hard to hear, the better your audiologist can fine-tune your hearing aids to meet your needs.

Read Aloud

Try reading out loud from books, magazines, or news articles while wearing your hearing aids. Then, listen to recordings of your voice. This exercise helps your brain get used to hearing your own voice amplified. Pay attention to how your voice sounds in tone, clarity, word pronunciation, loudness, and rhythm. Compare this to how you remember your voice sounding without hearing aids.

At first, hearing your voice so clearly and noticing all its unique qualities can seem strange. But listening to these recordings is a great way to get comfortable with how you sound now. You might even find yourself tweaking how you speak as you become more aware of the little details in your speech.

Be Patient and Stay Positive

Understand that making up for years of hearing loss with amplification is a process that requires patience and a positive attitude. It takes time for your brain to adjust and create new pathways, and fully getting used to your hearing aids can take weeks or even months.

Take time to appreciate the small improvements in communication and your ability to manage your emotions each day. Believe in the steady progress you’re making, helped along by professional adjustments to your hearing aids, support from your family, and your own commitment to this life-changing journey.

Use Audio Exercises

One of the main challenges for people new to hearing aids is figuring out how to distinguish speech from the noise around them. With everything suddenly louder, deciding which sounds to focus on can take time.

Sound retraining exercises help strengthen your auditory processing skills so your brain learns how to compartmentalize and filter sound signals automatically. Practice the following listening skills for just a few minutes a day to help reestablish old neural pathways and build new ones:

  • Use conversational memory games and active listening challenges to force your brain to focus on particular sounds. Have your partner read passages from books, news articles, or podcast transcripts and recap or answer questions about the content.
  • Pay attention to the different sounds around you throughout the day, like the sizzle of bacon or the sound of paper being torn. Tuning into these subtle noises can help your brain get better at recognizing changes in pitch, tone, and volume.
  • Try concentrating on one person speaking at a time when several conversations are happening around you. First, listen to one person, then switch your attention to another. This exercise trains your brain to pick out important sounds from the background noise.
  • Experiment with the volume control and noise cancelation features on your hearing aids (if available) to help with sound differentiation in noisy settings. Adjust the sound levels to what feels comfortable for you.

Diary of your hearing aid experience

Keep a Diary

Keep a diary of your hearing aid experience. Jot down brief entries about your daily experiences, noting moments of progress or ongoing struggles, how music and conversations sound different in various places and at different times, and your feelings each day.

Make sure to date your entries so you can look back after the first month and see how much you’ve progressed and improved. Sharing parts of your diary with your audiologist can also give them important information to fine-tune your hearing aids to better suit your life.

Take Care of Your Hearing Aids

Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and maintenance directions closely to protect your investment and get the best hearing aid performance. This includes replacing wax guards routinely to prevent sound distortion or muted output as buildup blocks proper functioning.

Keep spare batteries or charging accessories handy for quick swaps if the power runs low. Also, keep small replacement parts like retention clips, earpieces, or dome sleeves nearby to prevent lengthy disruptions. Ensure you understand the proper insertion and removal techniques for your hearing aids to avoid discomfort or costly damage.

Use Support Resources

Combat feelings of isolation by getting involved with hearing loss support groups both in your community and online. Meet up with local group members for coffee and chats where you can share tips and talk about the challenges of adapting, like using assistive devices and setting up your home to help you hear better.

Join online forums and follow social media hashtags related to hearing loss. These platforms are great for round-the-clock advice and support. You’ll find comfort in their stories, learn how they’ve overcome struggles, and celebrate small wins together. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey of adjusting to assisted hearing.

Make the Adjustment Period Easier with TrueEQ

Analog hearing aids offer better, more realistic sound quality compared with digital hearing aids. They are also easier to get used to because they deliver a sound quality almost identical to the natural sound your brain is used to hearing. This means that analog hearing aids typically require fewer adjustments because they leverage the auditory “muscle memory” your brain already has.

Our TrueEQ hearing aids incorporate state-of-the-art technology found in high-end digital hearing aids. They feature microphones and receivers from industry leaders Sonion and Knowles. The proprietary ASL-1 amplifier circuit ensures the cleanest signal, delivering rich, true-to-life sound.

TrueEQ hearing aids restore vibrant soundscapes so you can enjoy music, media, and conversation with less frustration and misunderstanding. Our licensed specialists can help you interpret past hearing tests and provide personalized amplification recommendations. With professional after-purchase support, Analog Hearing Labs ensures you achieve the best hearing experience possible.

Hear More Clearly with Analog Hearing Labs

Getting used to new hearing aids is a major change, but with dedication and the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. By using these tips and getting the support you need, you’ll find yourself more comfortable and able to communicate better.

If you’re considering getting hearing aids, check out TrueEQ from Analog Hearing Labs. It’s an affordable option that doesn’t compromise quality, offering a rich and authentic sound experience with premium analog technology. Contact us today to discover how TrueEQ can make your transition to hearing aids smoother and more comfortable.


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