How to enhance your experience when wearing hearing aids for the first time
If you have decided to make that step to try hearing aids to improve your hearing, let me tell you that you are on the right path to recover your self confidence, by hearing and understanding speech with less effort.
It is understandable to feel somewhat lost after finding out for the first time that you have some degree of hearing loss. Nobody wants to hear that, and nobody wants to use hearing aids, however, there is no doubt that once you are aware of the problem, it is in your hands to make the decision to move forward and try hearing aids to improve your hearing.
Nowadays you would be surprised to know that the number of people wearing hearing aids at the age of 40 or even younger, is unfortunately increasing. However, now more people have started accepting the fact that hearing aids are one of the most effective ways to improve the ability to hear.
If you have already decided to try hearing aids, here is a simple guide to get the best out of your experience. Be excited because hearing aids will make your life more enjoyable:
- Try to use your hearing aids regularly. It is not enough to get the hearing aids, you have to prove to yourself that you are really committed to obtaining all the benefits from them. Wear them at least 5 to 6 hours a day. If possible, 8 or more, but if you just started and want to rest in some intervals of time, you can. Wear them in the morning for 2 or 3 hours, and then in the afternoon for at least another 2 hours or more, and then slowly you will increase the time until you forget you are wearing them.
- Start getting used to hearing in different environments . Start wearing the hearing aids initially during pleasant activities that are not immersed in a lot of noise. For instance, watch TV at a volume that is now more comfortable with the hearing aids, or enjoy dinner at home with the people around you, or simply wear them while reading a book. It doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t speech involved, just give your brain a chance to adjust to the hearing aids in those quiet and tranquil environments. Thus, you will be ready for more challenging environments like noisy restaurants or meetings.
- Inserting hearing aids properly requires practice in the beginning. One of the most important steps you learn at the fitting appointment is how to insert the hearing aids in your ears correctly. If you are having trouble, ask for help or practice every day until you feel comfortable doing it. Once you put them on, go in front to the mirror and make sure you did a good job. Do not be disappointed in the beginning if you are finding it a bit difficult, everybody has a little difficulty in the beginning. Practice it and you will be a pro in no time!
- Have patience. Do not expect to hear every single word as soon as your put the hearing aids in for the first time. Hearing is a complex process that happens not just in the ears but in your brain. It takes time for the brain to recover and get familiar with those sounds that you haven’t heard in a while, and also, there are some conditions of the auditory nerve that can change the expectations about having 100% success with the hearing aids. The Audiologist should explain to you the real expectations you can have with the hearing aids. In many cases, your hearing will improve up to 98%, but in some cases due to the other conditions, you might expect 80% or less.
- Go to the follow-up that your hearing care professional recommended, because a big part of the success of wearing hearing aids depends on the adjustments and fine tuning of certain sounds that the Audiologist or hearing practitioner can make. This will improve your experience by customizing your settings according with your preferences and lifestyle.
- Stay motivated. Do not forget that getting used to the hearing aids depends of your own discipline, consistency and motivation. You will be amazed about how many sounds you were missing before and will see that wearing hearing aids has been the best decision you have made for your hearing and overall health. Remember that hearing aids enhance your hearing but also contribute to a better memory, attention, self-esteem, state of happiness, and quality of life.