While some get used to their new instruments on Day One, others need a short period of adjustment.When you first put on a pair of hearing aids, be ready to:
- Hear sounds you've been missing, such as faucets, ticking clocks, footsteps, children's voices, laughter, traffic noise, etc.
- Feel something new in, or around, your ear
- Hear the sound of your own voice, as well as, internal sounds, such as swallowing
- Re-learn to speak at a comfortable volume
When we first wear hearing aids, we hear lots of sounds all at once (that we haven't heard in years!) Even if the hearing aid volume is set just right, these sounds can be slightly jarring because our brain has forgotten how to prioritize them. When we were younger, our brains knew how to “screen back” less important sounds, like the hum of a refrigerator or the furnace blowing air. With hearing aids, our brains must get reacquainted with background sounds and learn how to “ignore” them. This can take a little while, so give it some time.
The best approach is to wear your new hearing aids for an hour at a time, several times a day, and in different listening situations. Read aloud to yourself, have conversations with your family, watch TV and listen to soft music. And, when you're ready to leave the house with your new hearing aids, start by going to quiet environments, such as a library or bank, and avoid large crowds and noisy places.
Slowly but surely, the world will start to sound “in balance”. In fact, after a couple of weeks, first-time hearing aid wearers report the joy of hearing chirping birds, laughing children, and rain on the roof-and are no longer aware of insignificant sounds.
Most hearing care professionals recommend a visit about two to four weeks after you get your new hearing aids in order to fine-tune them.