Congratulations! You’ve got your new hearing aids and taken that first step towards hearing better and living better.
So, what’s next?
It’s time to get acclimated—or “used to” wearing your hearing aids. And one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success is to remember the following:
Getting used to wearing hearing aids takes time, practice, and patience. But once you begin to adapt in those first few weeks and months, you should start enjoying all the benefits of hearing better.
What to expect in the early days
During those first few days of wearing hearing aids, your ears may feel strange at first. After all, it’s not every day you have little computers sitting in your ears for hours on end, right?
And what may sound strange, in the beginning, are voices. Both others’ voices and your own may sound unnatural, at first. This is because you are getting used to hearing those high-frequency sounds you’ve been missing or hearing differently for years, such as “s,” “f,” and “t.”
This can be distracting and make it difficult to have conversations but hang in there—it is all normal and temporary.
You’ll start hearing everyday sounds again. Just like someone who starts wearing glasses and is suddenly able to see smaller details again (e.g., individual tree branches or letters on street signs), your improved hearing will allow you to start hearing those everyday sounds that you’ve been without or have maybe forgotten about: Such as your refrigerator humming or birds chirping out the window.
For some, these “new” sounds may sound dull or irritating at first. But as you get used to wearing your hearing aids over time, the noises will begin to blend into the background.
And speaking of background, background noise may feel especially loud. Crowded situations like restaurants or large family gatherings may feel highly distracting with all the surrounding voices now amplified. Understandably, you may feel overwhelmed as you try to focus on the person speaking in front of you.
Fear not. Again, all of this is typical, and rest assured that even those without hearing loss likely aren’t enjoying the noise, either.
All these experiences are simply part of the process of adjusting to your new hearing aids. Keep wearing them, and within those first few weeks and months, you will notice how natural everything is beginning to sound and how much easier it is to hear and understand others. Even in places with lots of background noise.
Top tips for acclimating to hearing aids
Want to adapt to your hearing aids faster? Try these 5 pro tips:
1. Ensure your hearing aids are on/in correctly
Putting your hearing aids on or in can take some getting used to. Just remember that wearing them the right way will help you get the most out of them. Inserting them in front of a mirror can be helpful. You can also check out these bite-size instructional videos to learn step-by-step how to insert your standard or custom hearing aids.
2. Try to wear your hearing aids all day
Wearing your hearing aids as much as possible each day helps your brain get used to those everyday sounds you haven’t heard in a while. Whether you can’t help but focus on your dishwasher droning or your dog’s nails tapping across the floor, you should soon be able to tune out these sounds with time and practice.
3. Practice having conversations
Talking back and forth with others is a great way to help your brain reestablish the connections between sound, voices, and body language. Start with one person and progress to larger groups as you’re feeling comfortable. Making your best effort to focus on whoever is speaking is especially important. You got this.
4. Ease into noisy situations
When it comes to background noise, slow and steady works best: Start by wearing your hearing aids at home and build up to noisier situations like restaurants, family dinner parties, or other lively events. This will help you learn how to tune out extra noise and concentrate on the person speaking to you.
5. Don’t give up
Stay the course—you can do this. And always keep in mind that everyone’s hearing needs are unique. Adapting to hearing aids may come quicker for some than for others, but with time, practice and patience, your hearing will improve and feel more natural.
Stay positive, focus on the improvement, and enjoy the experience of your whole world coming to life again—thanks to better hearing.
Your hearing care professional is here for you
Remember, you’re not alone. Your hearing care professional is always there to answer any questions, offer suggestions, fine-tune your hearing aids, and even help you set up the My Starkey app on your mobile device so you can get even more control over your hearing aids.
Congrats again on beginning your journey to better hearing. Your best life starts now.