Adjusting to your new hearing aids can take several weeks or even months. This process can be time-consuming and frustrating. Your hearing device expert will encourage you to be patient with yourself as you become accustomed to the new amplified sounds. Keep in mind that hearing aids will not return your hearing to normal. They can improve your hearing by amplifying soft sounds and by reducing loud background noises.
You will need to re-educate your brain to practice selective listening, which is the ability to choose only the sounds which you choose to hear. Since hearing loss is gradual, over the years you may have become unaccustomed to normal environmental sounds. Your hearing aid specialist will alert you that your internal body sounds, like your heartbeat and swallowing, can seem quite loud and you may hear that clock, in your kitchen, ticking for the first time in years. Some new users report being startled by their own breathing. Your brain needs time to relearn what sounds you want to focus on.
Remember what we have all told our children, practice makes perfect. Your new amplified hearing will sound and react differently in a small, closed room as compared with being in a large, open restaurant. You can learn selective hearing by practicing with your new hearing skills. Start by wearing your hearing aids gradually during the day for short periods of time in different environments. You should practice having conversations with family and friends, listen to the television and the sounds of nature. It is recommended by audiologists that you begin listening and speaking in quieter surroundings first and then progress to loud, crowded environments. Don’t forget your follow-up visit. Most hearing care specialists recommend scheduling one, in two to four weeks after you get your new hearing aids. If you need further assistance adjusting your hearing aid specialist can recommend a support group for people new to hearing aids.
The more often you wear them, the quicker you will adjust to your new hearing aids. Your brain will become reacquainted with forgotten sounds and no longer be aware of insignificant sounds. Soon you will begin to notice significant improvements in the quality of your ability to hear and communicate. Both will add greatly to the quality of your life. You will begin to speak at a comfortable volume, hear the sounds of birds chirping and forget that you are even wearing your hearing aids.