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The Hearing Aid Fitting Process: What to Expect and How to PrepareJanuary 17, 2023
Introducing change into your life, from undertaking a new job to going on a health kick, always takes some getting used to. Wearing new hearing aids is no exception.
Getting hearing aids is a simple enough procedure. It starts with seeing an expert hearing specialist. If your evaluation reveals you have hearing loss, you’ll be fitted with hearing aids programmed to correct your level of impairment. It’s that easy.
Learning to wear hearing aids with comfort, though, may take a bit more time. For many people, fully acclimating can take up to 4 months. Here are 5 tips to help you adjust more smoothly to your new hearing aids.
1. Understand It’s A Process
When you first get fitted with hearing aids, it takes a few days to become accustomed to the physical sensation of wearing them.
Perceiving an increased range of sounds, though is likely to feel even more unfamiliar. Your ears are inundated by sounds you’ve lost the ability to hear, from certain areas in the speech spectrum to background noise like the hum of the refrigerator, the roar of traffic and the sighing of the wind.
Your brain will take time to relearn how to selectively process sound, determining what requires your focus and what can be filtered out. You may initially be startled by some noises and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of sounds like the ringing telephone. It’s crucial that you be patient with yourself during this natural course of education.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
Anytime you wear your new hearing aids is good practice. There are, however, certain things you can do to help speed up your adaption.
Get Used To Your Own Voice
When hearing is first restored, your own voice may sound weird to you. You may also have developed a habit of speaking too loudly or too quietly. Reading aloud to yourself is a way to get used to your voice and settle on a suitable volume.
Be Ready To Talk And Listen
You might want to start by engaging in conversations with friends and relatives because it’s easier to identify familiar voices. Try not to get frustrated if you miss anything that’s said. Even people with good hearing sometimes have to ask for clarification.
Many people with new hearing aids also find listening to books on tape or watching TV with captions helps their brain acclimate more quickly to the world of speech and sound.
3. Rest When You Need It
The ultimate goal is to wear hearing aids throughout your waking hours. Your hearing aid specialist, however, may recommend you only wear them part of the day at first, gradually working up to all-day use.
Many people experience fatigue after spending time wearing new hearing aids. Rather than giving up entirely, take them out when you feel the need. Then, challenge yourself to see if you can keep them in longer the following day.
4. Get Familiar With Your Hearing Aids
There isn’t just a learning curve when it comes to readjusting to the world of sound. You also need to become acquainted with the mechanics of your hearing aids. Even if you’ve selected a bare-bones model, you’ll need to become familiar with:
- Adjusting the volume of your hearing aids
- Changing your hearing aid batteries
- Cleaning and storing your hearing aids
- Putting your hearing aids in and taking them out
If you select hearing aids incorporating some of the newer tools available--functions like wireless streaming and built-in tinnitus management--you’ll also need to become used to the tech. At Hearing Health Centers, our hearing specialists go beyond simple hearing aid fittings. We always work with our patients, educating them on how to get the most out of their hearing aids.
5. Work With Your Hearing Specialist
Our hearing specialists need your active assistance to ensure sure your hearing aids suit your needs. It’s important to let us know about any issues with your hearing aids, whether it’s regarding the fit or your new sound perception.
You can keep a hearing journal to track noises that bother you or situations where hearing remains challenging. Note, for instance, if you have trouble hearing a speaker in a large auditorium or a busy restaurant. Our hearing aid specialists can address your concerns by tweaking your hearing aids’ programming or introducing new technology.
When it comes to new hearing aids, some of the best advice comes from old sayings: Practice makes perfect, and patience is a virtue. After some time, you’ll find your new hearing aids are well worth the effort. Are you ready to once again embrace the world of sound? Contact us to make your appointment.