If you have taken the leap and decided to treat your hearing loss through the use of hearing devices, congratulations!
There is, on average, a 10-year delay between the time someone first gets fitted for hearing aids and the time they finally decide to start wearing them. Considering fewer than one in three people who would benefit from hearing instruments actually use them, you have definitely overcome the biggest hurdle in tackling your hearing loss.
The most common issue for people who have made the decision to wear hearing aids, however, is simply getting used to them. Here are some tips on how to incorporate your hearing devices into your daily routine.
It takes time to get used to new hearing aids
Very simply, it takes time – and patience is a virtue. Although hearing devices can present a huge range of new opportunities, they do take some getting used to. Whether it’s simply the feel of something in your ear that wasn’t there before, or learning how to adjust the volume on your hearing instruments to suit your needs and environment, it can be a process.
One way to begin is to gradually increase the length of time that you wear your hearing devices each day. Rather than jumping in the deep end, you can start by wearing your hearing instruments for just an hour or two a day, and then adding an hour as you start to adapt to them.
Even if you have very small hearing devices, you are very likely still going to feel that there is something different. Similar to a pair of new running or hiking shoes, remember that it’s perfectly fine to take the time to get used to them.
Start with less challenging environments
Taking time to adjust to your hearing devices isn’t just about adapting to the feeling of something in your ear. It can also take time to work out how best to adjust your hearing instruments to match the surrounding environment.
Most hearing devices today come equipped with a whole range of advanced technological features, some of which, for example, make it easier to play sports, hold conversations in windy conditions or hone in on one person’s voice in a crowded area.
It is important to remember, however, that these are advanced features. When you’re just getting started, it can be very useful to limit the time that you wear your hearing instruments to those times when you are in a less noisy, crowded environment.
Particularly if you experience severe hearing loss, or have been affected for hearing loss for a long time without treatment, the sudden influx of noise can be overwhelming at times. This is particularly true if you have not yet worked out the settings on your hearing aids!
It’s a good idea to start wearing your hearing aids at home or, if you are lucky enough to live in a peaceful neighborhood, you may wish to wear them in your yard. This can enable you to start hearing more subtle sounds such as birds chirping or the rustle of the trees.
Once you become comfortable with these noises, you can begin to try out your hearing devices in public. Again, you may wish to start with less noisy places such as the library or possibly the supermarket, before advancing to busier spots such as restaurants and bars.
Put your hearing devices in at the same time every day
One method for making hearing aids part of your daily routine is to put them in at the same time every day. When you’re just starting out, you may find that you actually forget about them – intentionally or not!
Most people put their hearing instruments in first thing in the morning, but there is no hard and fast rule that you should do this. Find a time that works for you, and try to stick to it. This puts you in the frame of mind that you will be wearing your hearing aids every day.
Always store your hearing instruments in the same place
It’s easy to lose essential items – finding your glasses on top of your head after searching for 15 minutes or misplacing your car keys for the umpteenth time that day is, for a lot of people, a common occurrence. Hearing devices are no different!
For this reason, it is important to store your hearing instruments in the same place every night. This ensures that your hearing aids will not become one of those essential items that cause you to send out a search team every day!
Most people will store their hearing instruments in a nightstand drawer, but be sure to keep them in a place that is out of reach of any pets or young kids.
Consider storing your hearing aids in a dehumidifier
You may also wish to store your hearing devices in a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers help to keep moisture at bay, and can provide a useful storage spot for your hearing aids as well. Dehumidifiers can range in price and quality, but they should be readily available from your local pharmacy and usually cost less than $10. They can also be found online.
If you want to know more about why you should clean your hearing instruments daily, and tips on how to keep them dry, you may find this video useful.
If you want more information about how to adjust to or care for your hearing aids, do not hesitate to contact a member of our team today.