If you have an appointment to receive new hearing aids, congratulations! The day you bring home your aids is truly cause for celebration, and you are opening yourself onto a newly sounding world. The benefits of treatment for hearing loss are countless, but that doesn’t mean that putting in hearing aids works like donning a new pair of eyeglasses. Whereas vision impairment faces the problem of focus, hearing impairment usually occurs through missing frequencies, or pitches, of sound.
When you first insert your new hearing aids, many of those missing frequencies will be restored to your hearing through amplification, changing not only the precision of hearing but the more general spectrum of sound. This transformation brings more to your hearing profile, indeed, but it can be quite unsettling at first. With sounds you have not heard in a long time suddenly filling your ears, you can even become disoriented or uncomfortable at first.
The process of adjusting to new hearing aids requires patience and a slow pace, but you will be able to reap the benefits before you know it.
Most likely the first time you put in your hearing aids will be with your hearing health professional. This fitting is necessary to make sure the aids are suited to the curvature of your ears, and this meeting will be your first opportunity to learn what hearing aids offer you. In the security of the office, you can experience a new sound profile rich with texture and clarity, but it might feel overwhelming. The purpose of the fitting is to make sure the aids are suited to your body, but don’t expect to wear your hearing aids home immediately.
The next time you try out your hearing aids should be at home in a familiar environment with general quiet. As you walk through your home, you are likely to hear fans, motors, and other sounds that you hadn’t heard in years. You might be attuned to the sound of traffic or wildlife outside the window. Take it slow with adjusting to your aids. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to take out the aids and give them another try tomorrow.
Assistance in the World
Only once you have become accustomed to your hearing aids at home should you try them out in a public place. Perhaps you will want to begin with a familiar place like your local grocery store. Bring your aids with you rather than wearing them in the car, and try inserting them in the parking lot. As you enter the grocery store, you might notice music you didn’t know was playing all along. If you have a brief encounter with a stranger, you’ll notice how human voices have changed. When you reach the cashier, you can try out your first interaction with a stranger. If you have any trouble, don’t hesitate to disclose that you’re trying out your hearing aids for the first time in public. If at any time your aids become uncomfortable, you can take them out and try again later.
Driving and Further Training
Once you have used your hearing aids in public places and social gatherings, you can try wearing them while driving. Make sure you are traveling on a familiar road without any distractions. Should an emergency vehicle drive by, you might be taken by surprise while wearing your hearing aids, so take extra caution. You will want to take your first few drives without other passengers or with someone who quietly understands that you are adjusting to hearing aids. In other words, don’t bring along young children or pets! Only a few drives should be necessary to become accustomed to the sounds of the road while wearing aids.
If you encounter any challenges through this process of adjustment, or if you aren’t able to arrive in a place of comfort, don’t hesitate to contact our offices for further training or assistance. It is possible that we can adjust settings to make your aids better suited to your needs, or we may be able to give you some helpful tips that hadn’t occurred to you. With some patience, you will find that your hearing aids are comfortably woven into your lifestyle in no time!