words Al Woods
When you are given the news that you need to wear hearing aids, it can be both a relief and a curse. It is a curse only in that you know that you have hearing problems but at least you know what the solution is. However, these handy tools can be tough to adjust to as can adjusting to losing your hearing. It does not need to be too difficult though. There are lots of changes you can make that will make your life easier and can help with the change in your lifestyle. Here is a but a few.
Build up your time using them
You should start by using your hearing aids once or twice a day for a couple of hours in quiet surroundings. Additionally, if you have two of them, then you should wear both at the same time. This will help you adjust to how they feel on your body and help you to get used to the sounds of the world. Importantly, you should not wear them while you sleep or when you wash either in the bath or the shower. The more you wear them, the more used to them you will get.
Listen to the usual noises
As weird as this sounds, you should take some time to listen to everyday sounds such as the fridge or the kettle boiling. You can try listening to the doorbell going or the opening and closing of windows. The reason you should do this is that your brain and audio receptors have gotten used to the dull sounds that your damaged hearing picks up. This will help you relearn the important noises and those that you can ignore.
Have a one-to-one conversation
You will likely begin to hear your own voice more than you are used to. It is like an echo or hearing your voice on a delayed call. This can freak people out at first, but you will soon get used to it. It is a completely normal phenomenon. The more that you wear your hearing aids, the more you will become accustomed to this sensation. You should seek out a quiet location to have a conversation with someone. This can make sure that the person faces you directly which can allow you to lipread if need be. Make sure to tell them that you are practicing wearing your hearing aids.
Attempt group conversations and social situations
This can be more of a challenge, but it is something that you will need to become used to. Being involved in a group situation in a social setting will happen often so it is useful to practice being in louder and more difficult situations. You will need to practice lipreading at different angles and differentiating noises made by your group and others who are in the vicinity. Again, let the people know who you are with that you are practicing to make your life slightly easier.
Sit in loud spaces with background noises
You need to be able to adjust to loud situations. In theory, you need to relearn how to block out useless sounds and stay listening to important noise. This is not easy and can lead to some frustration. However, if you practice, over time you will become more accustomed to the sensation and thus, it will be easier for you. Remember, this is not easy and so it can become quite frustrating. Take your time and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Make sure they are comfortable
Much like when you try on a new pair of shoes, trying your new hearing aids can cause a little bit of tenderness. Your ear needs to adjust to having something nestled in it. Whilst a little bit of pain is usual, you should not find that the pain becomes too much. If they do, you should make sure to return to your audiologist and to get any adjustments that you need. It may be that you need to change the style of hearing aid that you have or that the measurements are slightly off. Don’t sit in unnecessary pain.
Adjusting to hearing aids
This is not something that is easy to do. However, if you take your time and give yourself a little bit of leeway so that you can adjust, it can be life-changing. The changes that you need to make to your life are fairly minimal. You should just begin by making slow changes to your habits and before you know it, you will have adjusted to your hearing aids without a problem.