Congratulations on choosing to invest in your hearing health! You have embarked upon a journey to more ease-full hearing, improved relationships and a continued vibrant life. It may have been your first instinct once you became aware of your hearing loss, or you may have been dealing with the condition for years before deciding to act. If so, you’re not alone. The average person waits roughly a decade before intervening in their hearing loss.
Confronting your hearing loss, sorting through the vast array of products on the market and eventually choosing your best fit can be an overwhelming and lengthy process. Now that you have your hearing aids in hand (or perhaps, in ear), it’s time for the real journey to better hearing to begin.
Plan for an adjustment period
After all, it’s important to have realistic expectations for yourself in all things, including adjusting to your new hearing aids. While we wish that adapting to your hearing aids was an immediate transformation, that’s just not going to happen. Instead of imagining that you’re flipping on a light switch, view your new hearing aids as a habit you are developing. In fact, it’s more like building muscle. It will take time and consistency.
As you work daily to adjust to your hearing aids, remember that progress is not always linear. Another way you might have heard this sentiment is “two steps forward and one step back.” What feels good one day might not feel so good the next. Give it time and measure progress by weeks instead of day-to-day.
If you have follow-up visits scheduled (and you should), make sure to attend them. If you choose to skip on a follow-up visit because of the cost, you’re making a penny wise and pound foolish mistake. What we mean is though you may save a few dollars, you will miss out on an invaluable opportunity to fine-tune your relationship with your hearing aids.
Practice makes perfect
Come up with a practical schedule to wear your hearing aids at home as you adjust. It might be for a short amount of time daily at first, then you can slowly increase the increments as you feel comfortable.
Depending on how long you’ve lived with hearing loss before deciding to treat it, your brain may need additional time to get used to its new levels of sound information.
With consistent practice, you’ll eventually find that you feel more like ‘yourself’ when your hearing aids are in, versus at the beginning of your journey when they may have felt odd or uncomfortable.
Take breaks when you need them
Your brain may have become very comfortable with the lessened amounts of sound information it was getting. In fact, you may even have grown to begrudgingly tolerate living in a quieter world. We know that people are uncomfortable with change, even when the outcomes on the other side of change are markedly better.
It takes resilience to push through the uncomfortable feelings of new-ness that might come along with adjusting to your new hearing aids. When we know when to rest, we can build our reserves back up to start again tomorrow. This is why you must incorporate rest and recuperation when you need to take a break. Taking your hearing aids out for moments of silence might be a restful habit you maintain for years to come. There will always be tomorrow to pick up the practice again.
Ease into driving
It might be tempting to try and skip right to the good stuff, without giving yourself time to adjust to your new hearing aids. Remember that your brain and being are working very hard to create a new way of listening, and that can be tiresome and distracting. Our brains only have so much mental energy to spend on the tasks in front of them. Wait until you are slightly more comfortable wearing your hearing aids before you operate heavy machinery, like driving a car.
Schedule future follow-ups when you need them
We are interested in helping you and enhancing your hearing experience for the long haul. We are eager to see you with any questions you might have regarding your hearing aids or any after care. Contact us today!