Getting hearing aids for the first time can be both a relief and a frustration. Although being able to hear again is a relief, mastering the use of the devices can sometimes be frustrating. The following tips can help you become accustomed to the hearing aids quickly so you won't have to deal with the frustration.
Tip #1: Practice makes perfect
It takes practice and experience to master the volume knob, as well as learning how to pitch your own voice appropriately. During the first few days after getting the hearing aids, spend some time each day sitting in a quiet room. Turn on the TV or radio and begin with your hearing aid at the lowest setting. Slowly turn it up until you get to the perfect setting that allows you to hear without discomfort. Next, turn off the TV. This time, leave the hearing aid at the perfect setting you found, but now read aloud. This allows you to become accustomed to the volume of your voice while wearing the hearing aid.
Tip #2: Don't give up
A combination of physical discomforts from the actual wearing of the device and from the sounds you can now hear may lead you to give up. Don't do this! For the first couple of weeks, commit to wearing your hearing aids for a set time each day. Slowly increase the time daily until you are wearing it all day with the volume on. There is an adjustment period. If you force yourself to work through this period you will find that most of the discomfort is overcome.
Tip #3: Keep notes
It's a good idea to carry a small notebook or keep notes via an app on your smartphone during your adjustment periods. Pay attention to issues with the hearing aid. For example, does it buzz when in a large, talkative group? Does the ringing of a telephone set off feedback? Make note of all of these shortcomings. Many of them can be solved by a simple adjustment by your hearing aid specialist. By keeping notes, you will remember to mention them.
Tip #4: Get into a cleaning routine
Hearing aids can become a magnet for bacteria and fungus if not kept clean. Get in the habit of taking them out nightly and allowing them to air out. A dry surface is less likely to harbor growth. In humid areas, a battery operated hearing aid dryer may be a necessary investment. Wipe down and clean the hearing aid nightly, using a cleaning solution recommended by your audiologist.
For more help, contact a hearing center or doctor like Mark Montgomery MD FACS near you.