Over 35 million American adults report they have some level of hearing loss. Millions of others may have hearing loss of which they’re unaware; the most common causes are gradual and hard to notice, since your brain is always adapting.
Hearing aids can bring a lost world of sound back for many. In some cases, the change can be dramatic, but it’s not always welcome at first. It can be jarring to hear sounds at normal volume after years of hearing decline.
The ear care specialists at Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat offer these tips to help you adjust to your new hearing aids. If your hearing isn’t what it once was, book an appointment for an ear examination and hearing assessment.
Understand your hearing aids
First-time hearing aid users have plenty to learn. The basics include recognizing and inserting your aids in the correct ear, charging or changing batteries, and operating the aids themselves. There’s no standard layout for hearing aids. You may have switches or dials, or you might have a remote. You can even control some hearing aids through your smartphone.
When your aids are fitted, you may feel bombarded with information about them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you think a point was already discussed. Your aids may have several programs for different environments, so know what these are and how to select them. Being able to adjust volume can also make adjusting to your aids easier.
Your voice will change
When you plug your ears with your fingers, you know how the sound of your own voice changes. A similar effect occurs when you put hearing aids in, and you’ll also be hearing amplified content of your voice picked up by the aids themselves.
At first, it may seem that your voice is far too loud while also sounding strange. Just as your brain adapted to the slow deterioration of your hearing, it will also adapt to the “new normal” of hearing aid voice. You can help the process by wearing your aids daily for the time recommended by Dr. Bateman.
Expect some challenges
It’s a noisy world out there! You’ve been living in a muted version of it for some time, so when hearing aids restore volume to normal levels, it can be jarring and tiring to cope with sounds that seem very loud. Your brain will adapt to this with time, as well, but it does require wearing your hearing aids as recommended.
While your ears may feel uncomfortable as you get used to your hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel pain. Call the office if this occurs and we’ll book a session to adjust your earpieces.
Some days, the sound levels and feeling of plugged ears can create frustration. It’s okay to take a vacation day from your aids, though you should keep these to a minimum to speed the transition process.
New hearing aids require a few weeks to feel at home, but you’re rewarded with increased comprehension and social involvement. Contact Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat by phone or online to schedule a hearing assessment today.