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Tips for New Hearing Aid Wearers

an audiologist showing off some hearing aids

Wearing a hearing aid for the first time can open you up to a world of sounds that you haven't heard in a long time. Because of this, the experience can take a bit of getting used to, especially if your hearing loss developed over a long period. 

If you are new to hearing aids, check out the following tips for new hearing aid users: 

Wear your hearing aids for a few hours at a time

When you first get your new hearing aids, you may believe that you have to wear them every waking hour. The truth, however, is that you don't. Most people using hearing aids for the first time tend to start small, practicing wearing them for just a few hours per day. 

It takes time for the brain and ears to adjust to hearing aids. Remember, you may hear sounds that you haven't heard for a long time; it can be a steep learning curve. You may also find that wearing hearing aids for an extended period makes you feel tired. 

The best approach is to start small and then work your way up, leaving your hearing aids in for longer and longer every day. Eventually, your ability to interpret sounds and voices will improve naturally, and wearing hearing aids will become second nature. 

Read while you listen

If you have not been able to hear well for a long time, interpreting the sounds coming through your hearing aids can be a challenge. Many people new to hearing aids, therefore, try to read along to media to speed up the adjustment process. 

There are all kinds of ways that you can "read along" with the media you consume. If you watch TV, for example, you can read along using subtitles. The same goes for Netflix, YouTube and other digital media outlets. You can also read along to audiobooks using the original book, helping you associate sounds with specific words on the page. 

Be mindful of your sound environment

When you put on hearing aids for the first time, you're often able to detect a variety of sounds in your environment that you couldn't before. While this experience is usually positive, you can find that some sounds irritate you. For instance, if you have a clock in your bedroom that ticks, you might find that it disturbs your sleep. 

Many people with hearing loss find it helpful to keep a journal. With a journal, you can record noises that irritate you, allowing you to control your sound environment better as you adjust to wearing assistive hearing devices. 

Practice reading aloud

When you have hearing loss, you sometimes don't know how loud to speak. Wearing a hearing aid allows you to adjust the volume of your voice to a suitable level for the situation, but it takes practice. 

Listening to the sound of your own voice through a hearing aid can be a novel experience. Thus, it takes a little practice to get the volume right. 

New hearing aid users often practice adjusting the loudness of their voice by reading aloud. This activity helps to train the ear to the sounds coming from inside your body, making it easier for you to judge the appropriate volume of your speech. 

Practice speaking with your family and friends

Adjusting to a new hearing aid can take a little time, especially if you have never worn assistive hearing devices before. Many new users, therefore, like to practice using their new devices with friends and family. When people you know converse with you normally, it helps to train your brain's auditory center. Remember, the voices of the people you know are usually easier to understand and interpret than those of people you don't. 

Your loved ones can also help you adjust your sound environment to account for your new hearing aids. If they have excellent hearing, they can tell you the appropriate volume for the TV or radio, letting you adjust your amplification accordingly. 

Leave the volume settings alone

Modern hearing aids are sophisticated pieces of technology, able to adjust to the prevailing sound conditions dynamically. For this reason, they don't require regular user calibration. Many new hearing aid users want to turn up or turn down the volume as they change location, but this isn't always necessary. 

If you are having problems with the volume on your device, then you may want to consult with a professional audiologist. Learn more about Advantage Hearing & Audiology in Greensboro by calling us at (336) 271-4944 and Eden at (336) 623-2422.