Tips For New Hearing Aid Wearers

Getting fitted for your first hearing aids can be an exciting and emotional moment, especially if you have been living with hearing loss for some time. Although it's wonderful to be able to hear clearly again, you do need to plan for an adjustment period. The following tips can help you during the first few days with your new hearing aid.

Tip #1: Start Slow

Your first few days with a hearing aid will be filled with both excitement and annoyance. This is because you will be hearing things that you previously couldn't hear, plus you will be inundated with noises you don't want to hear. Begin by wearing your hearing aid for just a few hours the first day, and then gradually increase the time you wear it each day. This will allow you to slowly become accustomed to the increased noise level that you can now hear.

Tip #2: Plan for Quiet Time

It's best if you can spend the bulk of your time in a quiet room on the first day you wear your new hearing aid. This will give you time to actually practice your hearing. Although this sounds silly, your ears are likely out of practice, so sounds may tend to seem overly jarring or to run together. Practicing allows you to relearn how to separate the sounds. Sit in a quiet room and practice discerning the small sounds around you – the ticking of a clock, a dog barking down the street, the lawnmower whirring in the yard next door. Gradually increase the sound level in your environment over a period of days as you become more accustomed to the hearing aid.

Tip #3: Practice Talking

Chances are that your own voice will sound jarring through the hearing aid. This is because you are likely talking overly loudly as a side effect of the previous years of hearing loss. You are also hearing your own voice more clearly, so it may sound slightly unfamiliar. Practice talking out loud in a quiet room so you can relearn how to modulate your vocal volume. This will also allow your to readjust to the sound of your own voice.

Tip #4: Take Notes

Not everything will go smoothly over those first few days. Keep a notebook with you at all times and make notes of any sounds that cause issues or problems that arise with the hearing aid. Things to make note of include the following:

  • Voices blurring together or becoming hard to understand.

  • Any type of feedback or static within the device.

  • A plugged up feeling in the ears that won't go away.

  • Certain noises sounding too loud or piercing.

  • Device becoming "noisy" when worn outdoors.

  • Any irritation that occurs when wearing the device.

This information will help your doctor or hearing specialist track down any problems or issues so they can correct them.