Advice for Successful Hearing Aid Use
Consistent use is crucial to your success with hearing aids. If there is anything about your hearing aids that makes you not want to wear them consistently, you need to let your hearing care professional know.
You can expect that the first couple of weeks may bring quite a change. You have likely been coping with your hearing loss for a long time and may not think that all the new sounds you are hearing are pleasant. It could take several weeks for your brain to recognize and process new sounds. Until that time, the new hearing aids may not sound completely natural to you.
Remember: What is normal to you is hearing loss. Many new hearing aid users say that some sounds, like the crinkling of paper for example, is too loud. Usually, they are not hearing this sound any louder than someone with normal hearing, but their brain perceives it as being very loud because they have not been hearing it at its true volume for a long time. This can be overwhelming and even irritating, at first, but, as the brain is exposed to these sounds, they will become less distracting.
Most people get hearing aids because they are misunderstanding or not hearing what people are saying. Some of these people only wear their hearing aids in social situations and then complain that the hearing aids make the ambient noise as loud as the people they are trying to hear and interferes with accurate understanding.
It is important to hear all of the sounds around you, even those sounds that you don’t always like. As you allow your brain to get used to these “unimportant” sounds, it will begin to pay less attention to them and begin to do a better job of focusing in on the sounds you do want to hear, like speech. But, if you only wear your hearing aids when you “think you need them“, your brain will not have as much practice at filtering out the speech from the noise. This could result in more frequent, and unnecessary frustration. Consistency is the key!
Have Your Hearing Aids Adjusted
It is unlikey that the initial settings of your hearing aids will be perfect. After you leave the office, you may still find yourself in difficult listening environments. It is important for you to write down these experiences and, when you return to have your hearing aids adjusted, the audiologist can better fine-tune your hearing aids. In the beginning, it is common to have the hearing aids adjusted several times. The number office visits depends on factors such as the type of hearing aids you have and your unique lifestyle.
Sometimes during these follow-up appointments, no adjustments are made to the hearing aids at all. Instead, the audiologist may simply review information, answer questions, or counsel you and your family members on hearing loss and hearing aid related topics. We ask for your patience and perseverance during this fitting period and we also encourage your feedback and questions.