Your New Hearing Aids: 3 Phases of Adjustment

Congratulations on taking an important step toward improving your quality of life! Here’s what to expect as you make hearing aids a part of your everyday life.

So you’ve recently invested in hearing aids— congratulations! If you purchased Beltone hearing aids from one of our locations, your hearing care professional will have told you a little about what to expect in the days and weeks ahead as you get used to wearing your new hearing equipment.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind as you enjoy your ability to hear what matters the most.

Phase One: Getting Acclimated

Give yourself time to adjust

It takes time to adjust to a new hearing aid mentally and physically. At first, it may seem like you notice your hearing aids more frequently— perhaps a little tickle in the ear canal, or the strange perception of how you sound to yourself, which is known as the “occlusion effect.” Some people also report normal sounds such as chewing, swallowing and walking sound overly loud.
Don’t worry, these sensations are normal as you gradually become comfortable wearing your new hearing aids. If you’ve chosen a custom-fit style, it may take even longer to get used to having something in your ear.
Here’s what you can do:
  • Commit to wearing your hearing aid every day—even if it’s for just a few hours at a time.
  • If you feel a tickle in your ear, there are many different sizes of domes that can help resolve the issue— so be sure to let your Beltone hearing care professional know.
  • If your ears feel full after a couple of weeks, the fit of your hearing aids may need be modified.
  • Take notes and be sure to tell your Beltone hearing care professional about what you’re feeling during your first follow-up visit. Remember, you can have your hearing aids professionally adjusted as often as needed. Often it takes several adjustments for a new hearing aid wearer to become comfortable.

Climb the learning curve

Like with any new technology, you should expect a learning curve as you wear and adjust to your hearing aids. Give yourself permission to learn about your hearing aids without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.
Here’s what you can do:
  • Educate yourself about your new hearing aids. Learn how they work and connect to accessories or your smartphone.
  • Download and set up your Beltone hearing apps.
  • Reach out to your Beltone hearing care professional to set up a follow-up appointment if you’re confused or have any questions. 

Phase Two: Noticing New Sounds

Expect to be overwhelmed by sound

New hearing aid wearers are surprised by the forgotten sounds they can suddenly hear again. This will likely feel both exciting and exasperating. Birds chirping in the morning or church bells ringing in the distance may be an unexpected delight. At the same time, you might find the hum of the refrigerator unbearable or be startled by a slammed door.
Here’s what you can do:
  • Be patient. Remember that your hearing loss has been gradual, and your adjustment period will be, too. Over time your brain will learn to interpret and filter out sounds.
  • Maintain a diary of any persistent sounds and bring that record to your follow-up appointments. Your Beltone hearing care professional can determine whether an adjustment to your hearing aids is needed.
  • Keep a sense of humor! Ultimately wearing new hearing aids will be a positive addition to your life, even things start off a little rocky.

Don’t be distressed by sound confusion

Hearing loss warps true sound, and that distorted sound has most likely been your reality for many years. With your new hearing aids, your brain has begun receiving signals it was missing—and that can feel bewildering at first. The shrill sound of a phone ringing, your feet hitting the pavement during a walk, or the whir of your air conditioning unit coming online may suddenly seem loud relative to other sounds.
Your brain will need practice and re-education at focusing on and filtering out sounds. Eventually you’ll become better at recognizing sound directions and learning which hearing aid settings work best in different situations.
Here’s what you can do:
  • Get lots of rest. Re-learning to hear is like training a muscle that has not been used in a long time. It can be exhausting and feel like it’s taking forever to see the results you want. Take breaks from your hearing aids as needed and be sure you’re getting as much rest and relaxation as possible.
  • Stay positive. Purchasing hearing aids is the first step in your journey to better hearing. To overcome hearing loss, you must be determined. You will experience frustrations and setbacks, but keeping an open mind and a positive attitude will help you achieve your goal.

Phase Three: Settling In

Let the hearing aids become your new normal
Hearing aids will help you hear better — but most likely not perfectly. The longer you have your hearing aids – and the more often you wear them – the more normal they’ll begin to feel to you. Soon you won’t remember what life was like without them.
Here's what you can do:
*Excluding Managed Care or Third Party contracts. If you purchase your hearing aids through a Managed Care or Third Party contract, Beltone offers service contracts for Belcare Coverage.

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