The Adjustment Period with New Hearing Aids

If you are a proud owner of a new set of hearing aids, congratulations! You are poised to receive the benefits of these devices for your communication ability and your physical, mental, and cognitive health. 

The Adjustment Period with New Hearing Aids

Although hearing aids provide life-changing assistance, they don’t work exactly like eyeglasses. Whereas you can put on a pair of eyeglasses and see the world suddenly snap into focus, our hearing ability works differently. Your hearing aids bring out a wide range of sounds that might surprise you. 

Why hearing aids might sound strange when you first wear them

When people lose their hearing, it's usually because of a condition that worsens over time. So, most people don't even know they have hearing loss until they go to an audiologist.

Even though hearing loss usually happens slowly over time, hearing aids can significantly affect how well you hear in an instant. Even if it doesn't make your hearing as good as new, the sudden change in volume and pitch is a big deal. Most of the time, it can feel a bit too much.

Depending on the hearing aid (behind the ear, in the ear, or the canal) and the exact brand and model, the change to the natural situation will vary.

 In addition to the changes in how you perform, hearing aids require you to wear or put something in your ear for hours at a time. It can take some time to get used to the way hearing aids feel and how heavy they are.

In the same way, different people will react differently to hearing aids based on several factors, such as the severity of their hearing loss, how long they have had it, and whether or not they are used to wearing other devices like headphones. Still, most people who use hearing aids will need a short time to get used to them.

How to adjust to your new hearing aids

Some people feel disoriented the first time they insert their hearing aids, so it is essential to take care when adjusting to your new hearing aids. The following tips can help you better adjust to your new hearing devices.

Start in a quiet environment.

Oddly enough, a quiet place is the best setting to begin adjusting to your hearing aids. When you insert your aids for the first time, you might notice ambient sounds, heating, air conditioning units, refrigerators, and even birds and outdoor traffic. These sounds can be unsettling at first, so it is essential to try out your aids where you are safe and comfortable before you take them out on the town. 

If you find it uncomfortable to hear all these sounds amplified, try wearing your aids for a brief time first. As you wear your aids for a short time each day, you will become accustomed to the new sonic profile they provide you.

Take them out when you're ready

Once you have become accustomed to wearing your hearing aids in the security of your home, you can try them out in public. Perhaps you will want to take them to the grocery store or another common public place next. 

When you have small talk with cashiers or people in your community, you will find that the aids amplify their voices as well as other sounds. Getting used to your aids might take some time, so don’t hesitate to tell others about your process. When they know that you’re trying out new hearing aids, they will no doubt be glad to help you through the process.

Get driving

After trying out these other settings, wear your hearing aids while driving. They can be helpful on the road, particularly for alerting you to a siren before it closes. However, that same benefit can be surprising. 

Once you have become used to your hearing aids, it is still wise to keep distracting noises to a minimum. You might want to try wearing your hearing aids on a quiet, empty road before taking them on the freeway. Keep the radio off for your first few trips, and make sure you don’t have loud children or pets in the car. 

Get your settings right

Many of the latest hearing aids come with customizable settings tailored to different sound environments. Your hearing aid app can be used to establish preset settings suited to the places you go the most. You might want to set a profile for use at home, at the office, and while driving. Depending on the particular devices you have, you might be able to use Bluetooth technology to sync with your smartphone. 

With these tips in mind, adjusting to your hearing aids shouldn't take too long. If you continue to have issues with the process, don’t hesitate to contact our offices for support. We can consult with you about the issues you face and the steps you can take to make the most of your hearing aids. 

The process of adjustment is different for everyone, and you might be able to join the world of hearing assistance quickly. If it takes a little longer, we can ensure you arrive at a place where you are reaping all the benefits of hearing aids and the enhancements they provide to your communication and relationships. 

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr. Kevin H. Ivory
Audiologist & University Instructor
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Dr. Kevin Ivory, Au.D., CCC-A received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Audiology degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the top 10 audiology residential programs in the country.

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