For hearing aid users both new and experienced, it takes time to adjust to a new hearing instrument. There are a number of factors that impact this adjustment process and therefore it will vary from person to person. Here are six tips to help make the transition as smooth and successful as possible for you:
- Become familiar with all the new sounds your hearing aids pick up in the quiet of your home. Listen to all the background sounds in your environment and identify them. At first they may sound different to you as you have been hearing them with a hearing loss, but over time your brain will adapt to how they sound.
- Start off by having conversations with others in a quiet room. It is best if you sit across from each other so you can read facial expressions.
- When watching television or listening to the radio start off with the news as these anchors are trained to speak clearly and will be easy to follow. Once you have mastered that, move onto more challenging programs.
- In a group situation focus your attention to the person you want to hear and if you miss a word ask the speaker to repeat. Repetition may be required as these environments are more challenging because of background noise.
- If you wear a behind-the-ear device, when using the telephone place the receiver slightly over the top of your ear next to the hearing instrument microphone. Tilt the receiver on your cheek bone and this should allow the hearing instrument to pick up the phone directly and prevent any whistling (feedback) from the hearing aid.
- Use your hearing instrument all day. The best way to get the full benefits from your hearing instrument is to wear it all day. This might be difficult initially as your brain is relearning all the sounds in your environment, but each day increase the duration by an hour until you are able to wear it from the time you wake until the time you go to bed.
Enjoy your hearing instruments and happy hEARing!