Using hearing aids for the first time can be an overwhelming and strange experience as you readjust to interpreting sounds you may not have heard for years or ever at all. For first-time users of hearing aids, the first two weeks are the most critical time. It is like building any habit; this is the period of making or breaking it. The majority of hearing aid users that give up wearing them do so in the first couple of weeks. Learn how to get through the first two weeks of using your new hearing aids as you read on. Even the best hearing aids can take some getting used to.
Is wearing hearing aids as scary as it seems?
Wearing hearing aids can be a scary prospect, primarily due to the stigma associated with hearing loss that often stops people from starting to use their hearing aids. People with a hearing loss may be perceived as old or with a disability, causing them to avoid treatment. Hearing aid prices are also sometimes a deterrent as people perceive them to be high-end expensive items. They are actually much more affordable than you think with a range of options to suit most budgets.
This has improved through awareness and hearing technology, progressing significantly with invisible hearing aids and even Bluetooth hearing aids now available. Yet less than one in three people who could benefit from hearing aids wear them. Another barrier that deters individuals with a hearing loss from wearing hearing aids is the sound and comfort of the device, particularly in the first couple of days of wearing them.
Wearing hearing aids helps keep you engaged in the world and hearing the sounds of life. Persistence is key, survive the first couple of weeks wearing your hearing aids, and your brain will get used to it; the challenges start disappearing, and you start to get to enjoy better hearing.
At our Lions Hearing Clinics, we provide several high-end brands of hearing aids. We provide Phonak hearing aids, an industry leader in hearing solutions. We also provide Oticon hearing aids, one of the largest global hearing companies. We also offer Bluetooth hearing aids and great hearing aid prices!
6 common challenges of wearing hearing aids for the first time and how to overcome them?
1. The tips in my ears are uncomfortable
No matter what type of hearing aid you have, a new foreign object in your ears is bound to be uncomfortable initially, especially in the first couple of days. This is entirely natural, but you will begin to stop noticing it after a couple of days. Being able to feel the tip in your ear is expected, but it is not normal for it to cause you any pain. There are different sizes and hearing aid types so if you are feeling discomfort for an extensive period, contact your audiologist.
2. The tips in my ear keep popping out
If your hearing aids are not staying in your ears, it can be extremely frustrating and often causes an annoying whistling of the hearing aids. This challenge can make you want to take them out and is a common reason why patients give up wearing hearing aids altogether. It is important to discuss the various shapes and sizes of the tip available or even other types of hearing aids with your audiologist to get the best hearing aids for you.
3. Sounds are so much louder
The human auditory system has gradually and subtly deteriorated over time, causing a hearing loss. As a result, your brain has gotten used to quieter sounds. This can be compared to being in a dark room for hours and then going outside; it takes time for your eyes to adjust to the light. It is the same for your ears, as you wear your hearing aids for the first time, every sound is much louder, taking approximately 3-6 months for your brain to regulate the volume of sounds.
4. My voice sounds so much louder
Hearing your voice loudly is due to the tip in your ear modifying the acoustics of your ear canal. Your hearing aid may also receive some of your voice through its microphones, and when amplified because of their sensitivity, it feels like you hear your voice louder than you formerly did. The degree to which you experience this increased volume of sounds discussed depends on the type and severity of your hearing loss and its frequency range. You will be happy to know that the loudness of sounds, including your voice, will disappear over the next 3-6 months of using your hearing aids. However, when starting to wear hearing aids for the first time, it should not be expected or accepted that excessive loudness is the norm. If you feel like every sound is too loud, including your voice, speak to your audiologist straight away.
5. My hearing aids sound unnatural
Many people stop wearing their hearing aids in the first couple of weeks because the hearing aid’s sound isn’t natural. While the hearing aid technology does play a role in how natural they sound, there are a variety of factors that may contribute to the type of sound produced. In Episode 4 of the Ear Science podcast, the science of healthy hearing, Dr Dona Jayakody shares how and why Hearing Loss contributes to cognitive decline. Knowing this, it is important to persist with wearing your hearing aids and contact your audiologist with your concerns rather than stop wearing them so you can get the best hearing aid outcome possible!
6. I can’t be bothered looking after them
There is no getting out of this one, unfortunately. Hearing aids require looking after them to ensure they perform to their best ability. Making this a part of your daily routine will soon become something you don’t think twice about.
- Remove – You start by taking them off each night
- Clean – Brush your hearing aids each morning and wipe them with a clean wipe. Ensure that you wipe the silicon tips or the parts that go inside your ear to kill any bacteria. This helps avoid ear infections and prevents the receivers from getting blocked with ear wax.
- Charge – You pop your hearing aids in their charger each night or change the batteries when required.
Not too much of a hassle for better hearing.