Adjusting to Your First Hearing Aids
When an audiologist recommends hearing aids to a patient, there are generally several questions and concerns. Some of the most common thoughts that might occur include: what type of hearing aids you should buy, how will they be adjusted according to your hearing requirements, how will they be fitted, and, most importantly, how much do they cost? These questions are quite normal for the person wearing hearing aids for the first time.
When it comes to adjusting to your first hearing aids, there are many things to consider, including:
1. Type of hearing loss
Before selecting a hearing aid, it is important to first conduct a hearing test and determine the type and severity of hearing loss. Smaller models are generally effective for mild hearing loss, while the larger ones work well for any type of hearing loss, including severe-to-profound hearing loss.
2. Lifestyle and preferences
The lifestyle of the patient is also an important factor to consider when selecting hearing aids. Some people are socially active and experience different types of hearing situations, such as talking in public places or talking a lot on the telephone. These people require a much more sophisticated hearing aid which can adjust to different types of hearing situations. Basic models work better for people who have a more sedentary lifestyle.
Similarly, everyone has different style and aesthetic preferences. Some people prefer an almost invisible hearing aid so people do not know about the hearing loss, while others like to have control over the volume of the hearing aid. Some people may also want hearing aids that require minimal maintenance.
Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, activity level and preferences, the audiologist will recommend a few options at different price points. The patient is usually able to try different hearing aids for a few hours or a day to check if he or she is satisfied with it. Moreover, once the hearing aids are tested, you can order your device and schedule the hearing aid programming with your audiologist.
How to adjust to hearing aids
Getting used to hearing aids requires time and can vary from person to person. Some people adjust to hearing aids in a day or two, while others take up to a few weeks or months. The ability to hear improves gradually as you adjust to the hearing aid. Even your own voice sounds different with a hearing aid, which is why it’s so important to anticipate an adjustment period. Some individuals have more success adjusting to hearing aids if they wear the device for a few hours daily to get used to the amplification.
In addition, it is important to get the hearing aids fitted and programmed properly. However, before wearing the hearing aids for the first time, here's a list of factors you should be aware of:
Don’t be surprised if it takes some time to get used to hearing aids; after months or years struggling to hear, you may feel overwhelmed by all the sounds you’ve been missing. To adjust more quickly, you should wear them as often as possible or as directed by your audiologist.
Many first-time hearing aid wearers complain about hearing aids being ineffective because they don’t return hearing back to normal levels. While hearing aids improve your ability to hear by amplifying the sounds around you, you should know they don’t actually “repair” your hearing ability.
Adjusting to hearing aids can feel overwhelming at first, but once you get through the trial period you’ll be amazed and awed by the sounds you’ve been missing! If you’ve had your hearing aids for an extended amount of time and are still struggling with fit or programming, visit your audiologist to ensure the devices are properly adjusted for you.