Dana Luzon Coveney, Au.D. Board Certified Doctor of Audiology
Pursuing treatment for hearing loss with hearing devices is the first step to improving your hearing loss, but there is often an adjustment period to go through before becoming accustomed to new sounds in your daily life. Sounds may sound harsh or unnatural the first time you wear a hearing aid, but understanding proper adjustments and settings will help make the transition go smoothly. The following are tips and guidelines about what to expect during your first few weeks utilizing new hearing technology.
Adjusting to your new hearing devices takes time, patience and ongoing follow up care. At first, your hearing devices may not sound “normal” and your own voice may sound hollow. You will begin to hear many sounds you have been missing such as the blinker in the car, the voices or your grandchildren or your footsteps in the hallway. Patients often report the sounds of dishes and silverware to sound loud and tinny. By documenting your experiences, your devices can be re-adjusted to work well for you.
It may be helpful to start out slowly. Instead of going outdoors your first day with a hearing aid, stay in your home where you have more control over the sounds. Noises might sound excessively loud the first day you wear a hearing device.
There are several things you will have to get used to with your hearing aids – and the most obvious is hearing clearly. Do not be discouraged if you do not hear clearly immediately. Everyday noises may be the most challenging thing to get used to because these everyday sounds were likely not audible or unclear before wearing hearing devices. Please do not wear your hearing devices while sleeping, bathing, or swimming.
With time, your brain will learn to interpret new sounds clearly. Ask a friend or family member to simply have a conversation or read aloud to you without any distractions in the background to get used to the amplified speech. At your follow up appointments, you audiologist will adjust the technology to make it more useful in everyday situations over time
Follow up with your Audiologist
Follow up adjustment visits are a normal part of the process when using hearing devices. It may take some time to get used to your hearing devices, but if it is uncomfortable or painful, it may be time to talk to your audiologist. During the trial period, you’ll want to maintain communication to combat any lingering issues and determine whether they are a simple fix or more complex. It’s important to remember that your hearing did not disappear overnight, so it’s unlikely that you’ll become completely accustomed to a hearing aid device right away. It’s recommended to visit the audiologist about two weeks after getting fit with new hearing devices. Remember, losing your hearing was a gradual change and it will take time for your brain to adjust and hear the sounds you have been missing.