Adjusting to Life with Hearing Aids

Adjusting to Life with Hearing Aids

For many people, their first experience with hearing aids is far from perfect. They require attunement to your needs, and it takes time to get used to how things sound through your hearing aids. If you’re getting fitted for the first time, here’s what to expect, and when to consult a specialist to find the right fit for you. 

The providers at ENT of New Orleans, with four locations in the Greater New Orleans area, can ensure you have the right type of hearing aids, that your aids are properly fitted and adjusted, and that you have the tools you need to begin your transition to better hearing. 

Hearing aid challenges

Hearing loss can happen to anyone, regardless of their age or circumstances. That said, many older adults suffer from sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) as they get older, often due to aging and noise damage. 

While being unable to hear well used to be accepted as part of getting older, hearing aid technology has come a long way, and the aids are now more accessible than ever. However, many people still struggle to adjust to their hearing aids after they get them. 

This is often because they aren’t prepared for what hearing aids actually sound and feel like. If you previously had better hearing, the sound from a hearing aid will be different, and if you’ve had hearing loss for some time, the new sounds can be overwhelming. 

If you’ve recently purchased a pair of hearing aids, you might have trouble getting used to them. This is normal, and you’ll adjust faster than you think. Just as the body can adapt to losing senses like sight and sound, it quickly acclimatizes to gaining them as well. 

Adjusting to your new hearing aids

The following tips can help you ease into using your hearing aids: 

Start slowly

If you try to jump right into using your hearing aids all day, every day, you’re only going to overwhelm yourself. Start slowly, only using your hearing aids for 1-2 hours per day and working up from there.

Read out loud

This will help you adjust to your own voice, which sounds different through a hearing aid than it does through the human ear. Don’t worry if you sound more nasal than you remember; your voice is the same, you’re just hearing it differently. 

Learn to recognize important sounds

Timers, alarms, car horns, doorbells, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors — all of these sounds are meant to alert you to something, so make sure you know what you’re hearing. 

Watch TV and listen to music

These are two of the easiest ways to get used to your hearing aids: use leisure activities for practice. You’re more likely to overlook if things sound “off,” which helps you adjust. 

Have different types of conversations

Whether you’re one-on-one, in a group, or at a crowded location, experiment with different scenarios so you feel more at ease talking to others. 

The importance of professional fitting

While hearing aids are being sold over-the-counter in places now, they’re not the kind of devices you can wear right out of the box. That’s why an audiologist is so important to the fitting process. They can help you pick the right type of hearing aid for you, show you how to use it, and make adjustments as needed. 

At ENT of New Orleans, Dr. Gregory Pippin and his team offer customized hearing aid fittings to help you find the most natural and accessible option for you. 

To schedule a consultation, call the location closest to you, or request an appointment online

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