Tips for Adjusting to New Hearing Aids

In Hearing Aids, Hearing Health by Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD

Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD
Latest posts by Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD (see all)

If you have recently taken the leap and started using hearing aids then a congratulations is in order! Admitting you have a problem and getting help is a big step and sometimes easier said then done.

Now that you have your new hearing aids, they often take some getting used to. The first days of using your new hearing aids can be difficult but what ever you do don’t give up! Below are a few tips to make getting used to wearing your new hearing aids so they can work best for you.

Don’t give up, even if they feel strange!

Similar to getting used to a new pair of eyeglasses, hearing aids take some time to adjust to. You will have to normalize wearing the device in or on your ears in and behind your ears, depending on the style. Eventually if you are consistent it will feel normal and you may even grow used to the feeling of them on your ears.

Start slow

Getting used to how hearing aids work can be different from what you are used to, especially if you have had hearing loss for a long time. There are many sounds you may not be used to hearing at their intended volume. If your hearing aids don’t feel comfortable at first give your self a break and just try them in short moments at first. Increase the length of time a little every day. Eventually you should get used to the practice of wearing your hearing aids during your waking hours to get the most out of your hearing aids.

Start out in a quiet place

When you begin wearing your new hearing aids as stated before, it is best to start in a quiet place like your home. You may find the sounds of birds chirping and the buzz of the air conditioner to seem pretty loud after not hearing them for some time. Eventually your brain will acclimate to your new heightened sense of hearing and adjust. 

Don’t adjust the volume at first

Most hearing aids today automatically adjust the volume to accommodate the changing sound levels of different environments. This eliminates the distracting practice of constantly wanting to turn up or down your hearing aids. Your new hearing aids will help you hear but will not be exactly like the hearing you used to. If you are constantly turning your hearing aid up, it could ultimately cause more hearing damage, so proceed with caution. 

Practice speaking in groups

When you start wearing new hearing aids your brain has to get used to hearing sounds it previously became accustomed to not registering. Hearing requires active listening, meaning you should actively face the person speaking to you so you can see their mouth when they speak and read their body language as well. This can aid your brain in retraining itself to connect sounds, vocal patterns and body language.

Practice Reading along while listening

A good practice to reacquaint your brain with the new sounds it is able to process with hearing aids is to try reading along while listening an audio book. Listening to and reading words at the same time is an effective way to help retrain your brain to connect sounds and language. You can put this into action while you watch your favorite television program. Turn on the closed caption feature on your favorite show or movie and read along while you get used to hearing more clearly again. Another way to acquaint your brain with the new sounds you can hear is to read to yourself out loud. This will help you get used to the sound of your voice which may sound strange at first.

Get used to speaking on the phone

A lot of hearing aids these days have Bluetooth capacity so you can stream your telephone calls directly to your ears. If your hearing aids don’t have this function make sure that when you do speak on the phone, to try positioning the receiver over your hearing aids microphone. This will aid your device in picking up the phone’s sound waves with as little distortion as possible.

Work up to wearing them every day all day long

It takes about two weeks usually to get used to wearing your new hearing aids. After that it’s ideal to wear your hearing aids when you are awake so you don’t miss any part of your day.