Start at Home
Ease into your new pair by wearing your hearing aids at home or in other quiet environments. Focus on just having one-on-one conversations. You should also let your friends and family members know you’re using new hearing aids so that they can help you stay committed to better hearing in more challenging environments.
Do Some Homework
Get some extra practice with your hearing aids and try to locate the sources of the sounds in your home environment, or you could even listen to audiobooks or talk radio while you’re home alone.
Take Some Breaks
Wear your aids for a few hours the first day, then increase your wearing hours every day after that. This gradual increase in the number of hours you wear them per day, and the situations in which you wear them, will make the adjustment easier.
You’ll want to visit your hearing care professional for follow-up visits as you will need to fine-tune the sounds that you’re hearing, adjust the fit in your ear, and talk about any challenges that you may have faced. Most people visit their audiologists around two weeks after their first fitting to get their devices fine-tuned and possibly adjust the volume.
Attend Orientation Classes
If your hearing care professional offers some orientation classes for new aid wearers, be sure to sign up. These are very helpful and can lead to greater satisfaction with hearing aid use.
Anticipate Some Frustration
If you haven’t been able to hear well for a few years, hearing aids can flood your ears with sounds you didn’t notice before which can be a bit overwhelming. The humming of the refrigerator might seem very loud or unbearable. Your brain has forgotten how to sort out background noise and how to prioritize certain sounds over others. People that are adjusting to a new hearing aid have to relearn to ignore background noise. It’s important to be patient and take it slow as your brain adjusts.
Depending on your needs, you may have custom earmolds, which should fit comfortably within your ears. Audiologists note that hearing aids can sometimes cause slight tenderness but any amount of pain means you should return to the audiologist immediately. Often, receiver-in-the-ear styles are easier to adjust to.