Sometimes adjusting to a new hearing aid can take time and some perseverance. We say between 6 and 12 weeks as a guideline but some people adapt quicker and some slower; everyone’s different and the important thing is to take things at your own pace, as this means you'll get much more from your hearing aids in the long run.
By following our simple 3 step programme you can get the most out of your hearing aid; and remember, we’ll be on hand all the way with any help, advice or support you might need.
Step One: Getting to know your hearing aid
If you haven't worn hearing aids before they may seem like strange little things; taking the time to familiarise yourself with them and their controls will help make sure you get the most out of them:
Find out where everything is on your hearing aid; the switches, the volume control, the battery drawer, the top and bottom of the hearing aid.
Practice fitting your hearing aids in your ears – there may be a small amount of whistling as you do this; this is completely normal and is simply amplified sound leaking from the hearing aid. Once your hearing aids are fitted in your ear properly the whistling will stop.
Once in your ears, practice using the controls; use the volume control, switch between programmes.
- Finally practice removing and replacing the battery.
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Step Two: Adjusting to amplification
As hearing loss is so gradual, often by the time you get a hearing aid your ears haven’t been working properly for some time and you'll need to get used to hearing again. Wearing your hearing aids will stimulate your ears to send sound to your brain and ‘wake it up’.
Slow and steady wins the race
Don’t feel the need to wear your hearing aids all day every day from day one; it’s often best to start slowly and steadily build up, from 2 hours a day to 4, then to 6 and so on until you are comfortable wearing them all day.
It’s likely that in the early days of wearing a hearing aid every day, sounds will sound different to you and you may even notice sounds you haven’t heard for a while. Persevere, as with time your brain will learn to tune in to the sounds you want to hear (for example, speech) and ‘turn down’ the sounds you don’t want to hear (like background noise).
Building up the amount of time you wear your hearing aids will also help you to get used to the feel of them in your ears - like a new pair of shoes, they become more comfortable with time.
Start with easy listening environments and build up
First try talking one to one in a quiet room; this is an easy listening situation and will help you to get used to amplified sounds without other distracting noise. When you feel ready, try wearing your hearing aid in more difficult situations where groups of people are speaking, or where there is background noise. Note down any areas you still feel are a challenge and discuss this with your hearing aid audiologist at your follow up appointments - this will help them to make any necessary fine tuning adjustments.
Read aloud to yourself
You'll notice that your voice sounds different when you're wearing your hearing aid. It will probably also sound louder since it's closer to the receiver (the part of the hearing aid that ‘captures’ sounds) than anyone else’s - with time this will become more natural. Reading aloud to yourself whilst wearing your hearing aid can help speed up the process.
Have realistic expectations
A hearing aid will help you hear sounds that are difficult to hear without amplification (women's and children's voices and birds chirping for example) but it’s still unlikely that you'll hear as well as you did when you were 18.
It’s also unlikely that your hearing aids will cut out all background noise – and you wouldn’t want them to. Background sounds are important as they give you valuable information about what's happening around you; the key is that they are in the background - your hearing aids should help you focus on important sounds like speech.
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Step 3: Looking after your hearing aids
Hearing aids are electronic devices which have to operate within a warm, moist and waxy environment, so they can often get blocked with dirt and debris affecting how well they work.
The good news is regular care and cleaning of your hearing aids can help to keep them working better for longer.
We can help you by:
- Showing you how to clean and maintain your hearing aids
- Showing you how to change batteries easily
- Showing you how to replace wax protection devices
- Making appointments available when you need them
- Providing ongoing aftercare support
- Offering you an extended warranty plan where applicable
- Providing great value cleaning and accessory products for all your maintenance needs
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