Hearing loss usually develops gradually, so many people can be unaware that they have a problem until friends and family comment on the issue. Many people also struggle to accept or admit that they have a hearing impairment, often delaying getting hearing aids for around seven years on average. So if you have decided that it’s time to get hearing aids, this decision means you have already overcome the most difficult step.
What is wearing hearing aids like?
1. Have realistic expectations from your new hearing aids – they will certainly improve your listening experience but they are not a magic wand that will completely reverse your hearing loss.
2. When wearing hearing aids for the first time it is very common for certain sounds to appear louder and sharper than before. Your brain (and ears) will need some time to adjust to the new range of available to you. Take small breaks from wearing the hearing aids, or turn down the volume slightly to ease yourself back into the process. Begin by wearing hearing aids in quieter environments, such as your home and then gradually move on to social situations and crowded places as you adapt to the sound.
3. Practice makes perfect, so commit to wearing your hearing aids every day, even if it’s just for a few hours per day in the early stages. Slowly increase your usage each day until you are comfortable wearing them from morning until bedtime. It is at this stage that the maximum benefit from hearing aids will be achieved.
4. Your own voice will sound slightly different to you, which is quite normal. Hearing aid users commonly say that their voice produces a slight ‘echo’ in the early stages but again, this will dissipate as you adjust to this new way of hearing sound. If your own voice sounds very different, speak to your hearing care professional who can reprogram your hearing aids to reduce the effect.
5. There should be little or no whistling sounds in your hearing aids and they should not make your ears sore or tender. If any of these problems arise, please visit your hearing care professional for an adjustment.
6. You may become aware of soft sounds that were not audible earlier e.g. the hum of the fridge, the sound of footsteps, or the clock ticking. These sounds need to be distinct in order for you to hear speech more clearly and you will gradually adjust to hearing them.
7. Finally, remember that no two people have the same experience with hearing aids, whether it’s the sound clarity, or the amount of time taken to adjust to them. Let your progress continue at your own pace without comparing it to the experiences of others.
We’re here to help
The decision to get hearing aids is the first step in the start of a great relationship between a patient and their hearing care provider. From the beginning of your free hearing assessment, your expert Leightons audiologist will be able to advise on the best possible solution for you and your individual needs.
We provide a wide range of digital hearing aids from some of the world’s leading manufacturers, including Oticon, Phonak, ReSound and many more. We also offer a free hearing aid demonstration so you experience the difference a hearing aid can make before committing to purchase.