Tips for getting used to hearing aids
Most face-to-face audiology services have stopped during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’ve put together a guide on what to do if you’re waiting for hearing aids to be fitted during the coronavirus outbreak.
You might find this step-by-step guide useful for getting used to your hearing aids.
Just remember to go at a pace that feels right for you, and to follow the advice from your audiologist.
Slowly build up the time you spend using your hearing aids
Start by using them once or twice a day for just an hour or two. Do this in quiet surroundings.
If you have two hearing aids, you should wear them both at the same time.
When they start to feel more comfortable, you should wear your hearing aids outdoors and build up to keeping them on all day. You should not wear them for showering or sleeping.
The more you wear your hearing aids, the faster you will get used to them. So it’s a good idea to wear them for as long as you can.
Listen to everyday noises
Get used to noises such as the kettle boiling, the fridge humming, and doors opening and closing.
Remember that your brain has adjusted to hearing with your hearing loss, so it might need time to re-learn which sounds are important and which ones can be ignored.
Use your hearing aids when you watch TV
This will help you adjust to hearing different sounds.
You can also try watching TV with the sound at different volume levels. Compare how you would normally have the volume to what sounds better now.
Try having a conversation with one person
You may find that you hear your own voice more than you’re used to. Some people describe this as sounding like an echo, or like hearing your voice on an answering machine or recorded message.
This is very common and nothing to be worried about, even though it might sound a bit strange. The more you wear your hearing aids, the more this will sound normal to you.
Make sure you’re in a quiet place with good light. If the other person sits facing you, it’s easier to lipread them.
You might also want to explain that you are getting used to wearing your hearing aids and that the other person might need to be patient with you.
Practise using your hearing aids outside
You might notice some things more, such as birds chirping and traffic noise.
Try group conversations
Have conversations with more than one person at a time. You might find that you can follow conversations a lot easier and enjoy group situations more.
You may want to explain that you are getting used to your hearing aids, and that people should still get your attention before speaking to you. This means you can turn and face them, which will help you hear better with your hearing aids.
Try using your hearing aids in noisy places
Noisy places like restaurants or train stations are the most difficult listening situations, so try these when you feel ready to. The more you have worn your hearing aids, the better you’ll manage with background noise.