What is the First Experience with A Hearing Aid Like?

a hearing specialist performing a hearing aid fitting for his elderly patient

Wearing hearing aids, either continuously or in certain scenarios, is something that can benefit over 50 million Americans who experience hearing loss, tinnitus and associated health issues. However, when visiting an audiologist to get hearing aids, the most common question is what will it feel like?

It’s a good question too. After all, wearing hearing aids will change your life in a similar way to how eyeglasses affect individuals with impaired vision. Nonetheless, new users should expect to experience a transitional period. The following info should help you prepare in style.

Firstly, make sure you have the right hearing aids

Before thinking about the process of wearing hearing aids for the first time, you must remember that there are many different models to choose from. While many manufacturers produce hearing aids with contrasting features, the main types are defined as:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) that use a box behind the ear and a plastic tube that connects to an ear mold.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) that sits in the outer bowl.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) that sits inside the ear canal itself.

The right choice for you will be determined by several factors including the severity of hearing loss, lifestyle, budget and personal comfort. A professional hearing test with an audiologist will allow you to find the perfect device while a subsequent fitting appointment will ensure that the device meets your needs and is calibrated correctly. While some people opt to buy hearing aids online, new users should always choose the personal approach.

How will hearing aids change your daily life?

Whether you have mild or profound hearing loss, wearing hearing aids will enable you to hear sounds that you haven’t heard in years. This could be something as simple as birdsong or someone’s speech. Either way, the long-term benefits include improved conversations and increased connectivity with your surroundings. In turn, this provides a significant boost to your quality of life. 

Some examples of the changes you will notice include, but are not limited to:

  • You will be able to play a more active role in conversations.
  • You will feel safer in a range of daily situations
  • You will be able to watch TV without subtitles
  • You will feel more confident about attending social events.
  • You will feel able to enjoy music and other hobbies once more.

The crucial first week of wearing hearing aids

Most people don’t realize just how bad their hearing loss is until they start wearing hearing aids. When the sounds you’ve not heard for years return to your life, it can feel a little overawing. Moreover, you may find that some noises are too loud. Most modern hearing aids have multiple settings and features that will allow you to make adjustments.

Several steps can be taken to make this process more comfortable. Some of the best features include:

Wear them at home

The home environment is the easiest on your ears and gives you a fantastic opportunity to get used to wearing hearing aids both in terms of comfort and removing the feelings of self-consciousness. More importantly, you can adjust to simple changes like being able to hear the bath running or the kettle boiling. Likewise, interacting with family is the easiest way to refamiliarize yourself with hearing speech clearly, either in one-to-one situations or in small groups.

Wear for a few hours

If you get up on day one and wear the hearing aids from morning to night, you may find that it feels too much. Therefore, wearing the hearing aids for two to three hours at a time is an ideal way to start your relationship with hearing aids. This is something your audiologist will probably discuss with you at the fitting appointment.

Slowly try new situations

The ability to follow a conversation when you are in the room is great. However, the next step is to do it when you are in another part of the home. This removes any visual aids, such as body language and lip-reading. In turn, it trains your brain to listen out for familiar sounds and voices, which can be priceless when you enter future social situations. 

Go outside briefly

When wearing hearing aids for the first time outside of the home, it makes sense to go for a short walk. You will be amazed at being able to hear traffic or wildlife. Once you are familiar with the surroundings, you can start to think about adding people to the equation.

Following the transition

Even after you are used to the hearing aids, you may find that some adjustments are required to the settings. Meanwhile, you may still find that work situations and social surroundings require a conscious effort to get the most out of your devices.

Before doing this, though, the first step is to partner with a professional audiologist that will help you find the right hearing aids for your needs. Call Texas Professional Hearing Center at (281) 691-6633 to learn more.