This post is also available in: French
Hearing aids are fantastic inventions. Such a tiny little thing can make a world of difference to someone’s life. However, when someone first gets one, it can take a little bit of getting used to wearing it, particularly if the hearing loss is severe. Let’s look at a few tips to help you get to grips with your new hearing aid so that you can live the life that you want at full volume. Here’s more about the hearing aid adjustment process.
Don’t get disheartened if it feels strange at first
In fact, if it does not feel strange at first, that is probably more unusual! If you suddenly had to start wearing glasses, you would have to adjust to the sensation of the glasses resting on the bridge of your nose. If you had braces put on your teeth, you would have to become accustomed to how they feel in your mouth.
A hearing aid is no different – a foreign object in or on your body is always going to take some getting used to. It will only take a few days, and before you know it, you will forget you have one on.
Wear them for short periods to start with
Going from no hearing aid to full-time hearing aid in one swoop is quite a lot to expect of yourself. So, to begin with, wear it for a few hours a day and gradually build it up until you can manage wearing it all day.
Doing so allows you to work out which sounds you can hear or filter out. It also provides valuable feedback to your hearing aid specialist who can then adjust it accordingly at your follow-up appointment.
Start in a quiet environment
Do not put your hearing aid in for the first time and then head to a busy and noisy grocery store or to a party. Acclimatize your hearing by wearing it in a quiet environment, to begin with.
Sounds may seem naturally loud, to begin with. That is because your brain is not used to hearing it.
Once your mind has worked out what to do with the sounds, it will all feel a bit more natural. It also gives you the chance to work out what sounds bother you or do not seem quite right to talk to your specialist about at your next appointment.
Practice talking to people in a group situation
Depending on the level of your hearing before you had hearing aids, you may have solely been relying on visual cues. They could help you understand and follow conversations and speech.
However, even with perfect hearing, we still rely on non-verbal body language, so you need to try and connect being able to hear with active listening at the same time. Talking to close friends and family is an excellent way to do this, as their voices and gestures are already familiar to you.
Ask your loved ones to watch TV at a ‘normal’ volume
You may find it difficult, to begin with, to know what is a “normal” volume. For a long time, you may have watched TV or listened to the radio louder than you would if you had perfect hearing because obviously, you wanted to be able to hear it.
Once you get hearing aids, you may find it is too loud. Ask your family and friends to help you to find an acceptable volume.
Watch TV with subtitles
Similar to the point about watching verbal cues and gestures when talking, having subtitles or captions on the TV while listening can help you to retrain your brain to connect the audio and visual. You can also read a book while listening to the audio version as well.
Read aloud to yourself
Your voice will probably have been louder while you couldn’t hear properly, as well, you couldn’t hear yourself speak. Now, you need to retrain your voice to speak at a quieter level, and reading aloud to yourself is a great way of doing this.
Hearing aids can be life-changing, but they do take a little while to get used to. Follow these tips, and before you know it, you will feel like you have always had them!
Top photo by kalhh via Pixabay.
This post is also available in: French