The Adjustment Period With New Hearing Aids
Congratulations on getting your hearing checked and choosing the hearing aids that are the best fit for your hearing needs and lifestyle. You’re now part of the 20% who have chosen to treat their hearing loss.
The world of sound has opened back up to you and everything is new, so it makes sense that your brain will need some time to get used to it all. This is why audiologists are such a big help – we’re here to help you adjust.
Please don’t stop wearing your hearing aids during this time, or it will take much longer to adjust to them.
The First Few Weeks Of Wearing Hearing Aids
One of the most surprising things is being able to hear sound like running water and the toilet flush. Adjusting to the sound of your own voice is a big one too. It will sound different for a little bit as you adjust to hearing sounds again.
Of course, every patient is unique, but we tell patients to expect a slow adjustment over the course of the first two weeks post fitting. It may take more than that, but we try and see all patients two weeks after the initial fitting to review and reprogram as needed.
Expect Changes From Wearing New Hearing Aids
Some of the changes you can expect from wearing new hearing aids are:
- Whistling feedback
- Itchiness and discomfort
#1 Whistling feedback – Typically, this will happen if the aid is not positioned in the ear correctly. With today’s technology, feedback is rare, so schedule a check if this is occurring.
If the aids are turned on and are on the table or in your hand, you might hear some feedback as well. Wax in the ear canal can also cause feedback.
#2 Everything seems loud – I describe this sensation to my patients like this: Hearing loss is usually a gradual thing; your brain adjusts to losing your hearing slowly as it happens. When you put hearing aids in for the first time, sound is instant. There is no adaptation or adjustment; it is just there.
It takes time for your brain to adapt to hearing all the sounds of life again, and some sounds seem louder, like the dishwasher running or your phone sending notifications. While your hearing aids have been set to match your hearing needs, we are happy to check the settings and adjust them for you if we need to.
#3 Itchiness and discomfort – This is not typical long term, but having something new in your ear can feel uncomfortable at first. It can take about a week to get used to it.
However, custom-fit aids, and even non-custom-fit aids, should ABSOLUTELY NOT cause any pain. Please call us immediately if this happens. This can be addressed and corrected.
#4 Fatigue – The tiredness you might feel is from having to adjust to hearing all the new sounds again and “translating” them. It’s like speaking another language while abroad – you have to pay attention all the time.
#5 Expectations – Your hearing aids will likely never get you hearing perfectly again, but they will improve what you can hear a lot.
If You Are Struggling To Adjust To Your New Device(s)
If you or a loved one is struggling to get used to your new hearing devices, our audiology team here at South Shore Hearing Center will do everything within our power to help.
Call us. We will review everything with you again and make any necessary adjustments so you can be happy with your choice and get the full value of your investment for many years to come.