Getting Comfortable With Your Hearing Aid
Wearing hearing instruments for the first time can come with a period of adjustment. In the beginning, there may be some anxiety about using a hearing instrument, however, hearing aids rapidly become something that you hardly even notice (until you take them out). Here are some useful tips if you’re a new user:
When you first get your hearing instruments from our office they will probably not be set to the full prescription volume. We have found that improving hearing can be very similar to turning on the lights in the middle of the night. The light seems really bright at first, but then your eyes adjust. Well, your ears have essentially been in the dark for quite some time, so giving you all of the volume needed to fully replace what you’ve been missing is typically too much for most patients. When we establish your initial setting we make sure that you’re comfortable with the sound, then as you wear them, you may notice that things aren’t quite as crisp as they were when you first got them, that’s just a sign that your brain is ready for more (this typically takes about a month).
Take notes. We will test your hearing in a variety of ways with your new hearing instruments, however, you may find additional challenges when you get into the real world. The easiest way for us to help you hear as well as possible is if you take notes on the challenges that you encounter leading to your first follow up visit. This takes some of the pressure off of you so you don’t have to remember a months worth of interactions all at one time.
Don’t be afraid to adjust the volume but you shouldn’t need it all the time. Your hearing aids probably have volume control activated, but the instruments are advanced enough that they generally adapt to your environment pretty well on their own. As a general rule, the default settings are where you should spend about 90-95% of the time. If you are consistently turning the instruments up (or down) it’s a sign that we probably don’t have them set as well for you as we could.
These WILL help, however, we have to keep in mind they are an aid, they will not give you bionic hearing. I remember several years ago seeing a patient for his first follow up, he was thrilled with how he was doing, but he relayed a story about his wife. She had recently given him a hard time about not hearing her… Except she was in the kitchen, he was in the garage, taking the trash out and the garage door was closing. His wife admitted that she had just gotten used to him always hearing her, her expectations might have gotten a little too high. It’s important to remember that you will ALWAYS hear better when you’re in the same room, preferably looking at the person speaking.
Maintain your hearing aids. There is no exact schedule for when you should clean your hearing aids because each ear is different. If your ears produce a lot of wax, you may be changing wax guards and/or domes once a month or more. On average however, once every 3 to 4 months will probably be plenty.
How much should I wear my hearing aids? This is a common question, and while they are your ears, the most successful users wear them like you might wear eyeglasses. Put them on when you get up in the morning, take them out when you go to bed. Wearing them really does become a habit, and if you are only a part time user, inevitably you will forget them when you need. If you have any hesitation about wearing them because of the sound or feel, please let us know as soon as possible, we can certainly make them more comfortable for you.
Interested in getting a free evaluation for your hearing needs? Get in touch with Dennison Hearing Solutions today. We are committed to helping you maintain the best possible hearing throughout your life. A combination of technology and personalized care will allow you to be yourself, manage your vitality, and maintain your connections. Contact us or call us at (770) 209-2627 or book an appointment online.