Your first days with new hearing aids
Learn how to get off to a good start with your new hearing aids with our expert tips and tricks.
The first few weeks with your new hearing aids are very important.
Getting used to new hearing aids may be a challenge. If this is your experience, don’t worry – it doesn’t last long. Follow our expert advice to help you adjust to your hearing aids.
9 tips for a good start with your new hearing aids
Start where it’s quiet.
For the first few days, wear your hearing aids at home or in other quiet environments while you get used to them and the new sounds around you.
You will hear many more sounds than you used to – running taps, creaking stairs, the clanking of cutlery. It’s common to wonder whether the world really does sound as you now hear it.
Increase your wearing time gradually.
Hearing much more sound is amazing, but it can also be tiring.
Wear your hearing aids for a few hours the first day and gradually increase the amount of time you wear them each day after that.
Get used to your voice and footsteps.
At first, you may find your attention drawn to your own voice or footsteps, because these are amplified by your hearing aids. This makes them more noticeable in the beginning. However, it just takes a little while for your brain to adjust, and then you’ll stop noticing these sounds.
Reading out loud can help you get used to the sound of your own voice.
Use your hearing aids consistently.
It is important to wear your hearing aids as much as possible. The full benefits of hearing aids are only achieved through frequent use, even if they feel a bit strange at first.
Wear them around your home and in everyday situations. The new sounds may surprise you at first, but will quickly become a natural part of your life.
You can also turn on the TV and watch your favourite show, go shopping, go out walking – in general, live your life as you normally would, with your hearing aids on.
Take breaks if you need them.
If wearing your hearing aids gets a little too intense or you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to take them off when you need a break from sound.
In the meantime, don’t feel any pressure if you are a little bit uncomfortable in certain situations at first – simply take them off, then put them back on again as soon as you are ready.
Establish a routine.
Getting used to having hearing aids goes quickly once you get into a routine with them – then they simply become part of your everyday life.
You may find that you forget to put them on altogether. If this happens, you could leave yourself a note on your bedside table or put a reminder on your phone.
Usually, people take them off at night as they are getting ready for bed. If you put them in the same place each night, then it becomes natural to take them off and put them on. Your bedside table is a good place to keep them overnight.
You should clean your hearing aids regularly, and it’s a good idea to do this in the morning or at another set time, so you easily remember to do it.
Speak to people in person and on the phone.
With your new hearing aids, speech will be clearer and you will be more easily able to participate in conversations – but it takes practice.
Talking with other people, both face-to-face and on the phone, is a rewarding experience for most new hearing aid users. All of a sudden, speech is clearer and it might be easier to follow conversations.
If your hearing loss is severe, you might have avoided talking on the phone for a while. Face-to-face conversations may be more comfortable, as you will be able to read the other person’s gestures and body language. Speaking on the phone is slightly different, but once again, it is an endeavour that is both rewarding and important for building and improving social connections – and with hearing aids, it can be much easier for you.
So call your friends, invite them over, or reserve a table at your favourite restaurant.
Enjoy going out.
While you’re getting used to your hearing aids, it’s important to go out into the world.
Some noisy situations can still be challenging while you are still getting used to your hearing aids. When dining out, you can request a table in a quiet area away from the kitchen to keep the background noise down. If you struggle to hear, maintain eye contact during conversations and try to focus on communicating with the person nearest to you.
When attending the theatre, lectures, concerts or movies, enquire if a hearing loop, infrared, or FM system is available. Then you may be able to connect your hearing aids to these systems in order to hear the audio directly in your hearing aids.
Go to a follow-up appointment.
Your new hearing aids may need fine-tuning – especially in the beginning.
Your hearing care professional will likely ask you to come back for a follow-up appointment. This is where you will have your hearing aids fine-tuned based on your experiences so far.
Talk with your hearing care professional about the situations that are most challenging for you.
Use this opportunity to ask any questions you may have and share any issues you may have faced. It can be helpful to bring your diary – and also a close relative or friend – to your appointments; they may have noticed something important about your hearing too.
Ask questions to make sure you understand how to make the best use of your hearing aids.