Ever since the genius of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison were combined to form the technology behind hearing aids in the late 1800s, people with impaired hearing have been rejoicing. Being able to hear properly again is indeed, cause for celebration, but the transition doesn't always go smoothly. Make the adjustment easier and faster for you, by following some simple and "sound" advice.
1. Keep The New Hearing Aid(s) In All The Time
Your brain actually needs to acclimate to the new, more acute sounds it perceives; thus, it's more beneficial if you're exposed to the same level of sound at all times. Make sure you keep the new hearing devices in for most, if not all of the day. For the first week or two, a "normal" level of hearing may throw you off a bit, because you likely became used to the impaired hearing conditions.
Even if the new and improved sound seems weird, keep the hearing aids in and turned to their recommended settings. Before you know it, your hearing will be sharp, clear and audible, making the effort of going through the adjustment all at once very worthwhile.
2. Try To Face Incoming Sounds
Especially if you're adapting to a pair of new hearing aids, it's important that you physically tune-in, by turning toward sounds. This gives both you and the devices a clearer path for incoming sounds and should mean less interference from the background. Particularly in a noisy place, such as a restaurant or busy office, when multiple sounds are coming at you from many directions, looking directly at the person you're trying to listen to should amplify your new audio improvements.
3. Put Your Phone On Speaker To Hear Better
Adjusting to new hearing aids while on your phone could pose a challenge, but phones can be hard to hear on for anyone, not just those people with impaired hearing. Because of this, the way you personally adapt to phone conversations could vary; however, it's generally a good idea to put the phone on speaker. Doing so will give you a more direct sound to discern, whereas trying to listen on regular receiver settings (not speaker) may distort sounds. Once you've adapted to the hearing aids in the rest of your environment, tweaking the phone situation should be easier, with less guesswork.
4. Minimize Whistling With Regular Cleanings
If you start picking up on a whistling sound, your hearing aids may have wax building up on the tubes. It's important to clean them thoroughly, to eliminate wax as a possible cause for any maladjustment. If the whistling or other interference can't be attributed to wax, your volume may be too high, which could be an issue if you're otherwise unable to hear properly. Having to increase the volume to the extent that you're picking up odd and annoying sounds may necessitate a trip back to your ear specialist, as that should not happen.
Clean the device as recommended, checking for wax build-up, any cracking of the tubes and additional irregularities, like twisting of the tubes. Also, if your ears tend to produce an excess of wax, stay on top of that issue as well.
5. Don't Make Too Many Adjustments Yourself
While it is normal to go through an adjustment period with new hearing aids, it shouldn't be too complicated. If you're encountering difficulty in nearly every situation, both near and far, or going through a lot of discomfort, contact your hearing aid specialist. Some tweaking may be in order from a technical standpoint that will be too frustrating for you to try and figure out yourself. Rather than driving yourself crazy, and not being able to hear properly in the meantime, just see about making a trip back to the audiologist, who will investigate the matter further and find out what's causing your problems.
Hopefully, your transition with hearing aids is literal music to your ears, without a lot of fussing or whistles and bells. Either way, though, once the period of adjustment is over, you will be over the moon with your new hearing ability and very appreciative of the tiny technology brought to being by Bell and Thomas so long ago. Talk to a specialist at a place like Whisper Hearing Centers for more tips.