The process of hearing loss is usually slow and takes place over the course of several years. Most adults that suffer from hearing loss wait several years before getting hearing aids because their brain perceives the subtle changes in hearing as “normal.”
This slow process results in most hearing-impaired adults forgetting what healthy hearing is really like. This is why voices and traffic noises can seem extremely loud to those who are new to hearing aids.
One of the first things people notice when trying on hearing aids is how different the sounds are when compared to normal hearing. This is partially because hearing aids are generally not very “smart” and may pick up undesirable sounds (background noises) as well as desirable sounds (voices).
Here are some helpful tips for first-time users of hearing aids:
- Do not be discouraged. Hearing aids can be irritating in the first few weeks of wearing them. Fitting hearing aids is an ongoing process that requires perseverance and patience. Even when the hearing aids irritate you, you should keep wearing them. Becoming more familiar with the devices will allow audiologists to improve your experience. Pay attention to what sorts of sounds are too loud or too soft and write them down for your next visit.
- Be patient. As mentioned before, hearing aids take some getting used to. Don’t be too quick to judge your hearing aids. Soon enough you will forget that you have hearing aids on and will be listening to more around you.
- Practice makes perfect. Getting used to any sort of technology takes practice. When you first bought a cell phone, you had to use it for a while until you figured everything out. The same is true for hearing aids. Practice having conversations with others, watch a movie, or go to the park while wearing your hearing aids. The more you get to try them out, the more you will get used to them.