After making the decision to purchase hearing aids, many patients still have questions about what to expect from their devices and what is expected of them. When treating hearing loss, it is important to remember that we hear not only with our ears, but also with our brains. It often takes time and patience to adapt to wearing hearing aids and to train the brain to understand the new sounds it is experiencing.
After having hearing aids fit to your hearing loss prescription by a Gardner audiologist, you will be instructed on proper use and care. For the first week with new hearing aids, our goal is to have you get used to wearing them. This means putting them on in the morning and wearing them throughout the day, as much as possible. Generally, the hearing aids will be set slightly lower than your exact prescription to allow time for adjustment and ease you into use. For the first few days, many sounds you have not heard in a long time will be very noticeable. These may be things such as the turn signal in the car, water running, and the air conditioner, among many other background sounds. The more consistently hearing aids are worn, the faster and better the brain will adapt and normalize these sounds.
Additionally, many patients also notice that their own voice sounds different. This is also normal as, in addition to your own mouth being closest to the hearing aid microphones, hearing aids also plug up the ears causing your own voice to be louder in your head. While the audiologist can adjust this for comfort, it is important to know that some difference is expected, but is also something your brain will soon adapt to with consistent use.
Attending follow up appointments and discussing your experience with the audiologist is also an important part of the process so that proper fine-tuning adjustments can be made, as needed, to provide the maximum benefit from your devices. Most importantly, patience is key to success with hearing aids. Understanding that hearing aids are meant to “aid” in hearing, but cannot fully perfect damaged ears, and also realizing that the brain takes time to adapt is crucial to successful use. As most hearing losses do not occur overnight, but rather slowly over a long period of time, correcting that loss is also something which does not take place instantaneously. Your Gardner audiologist is here to help you through your hearing loss journey, and they are happy to answer any questions you may have.
To schedule an appointment, please call Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182.