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Getting used to hearing aids and realistic expectations

People learn at different rates. Some people need a day or two to learn about and adjust to their hearing aids, most need a few weeks and some may need a few months. There is no perfect way to learn about hearing aids. I usually recommend you wear hearing aids for a few hours the first day and add about an hour a day for each following day. Do not try to set an endurance record! Over time you will increase the amount of time you wear hearing aids. Eventually you will wear the hearing aids most of your waking hours. It is recommended you interact with people most familiar to you during your first few days. Start off with your hearing aids in a favorable listening environment (such as one-on-one conversations in quiet) and work towards more difficult listening situations. Let your friends and family know youre using your new hearing aids.

Please do NOT wear them to a cocktail party or restaurant during the first few weeks, while thinking "this will be a good test." It will absolutely not be a good test it will be very difficult! You should not wear hearing aids in noise until you are very accustomed to them!

Helpful Steps to Learning to Use a Hearing Aid

At first, wear the hearing aids in your own home environment.

Wear the hearing aids only as long as you are comfortable wearing them.

Accustom yourself to the use of the hearing aids while conversing with just one other person.

Do not strain to catch every word, even people with normal hearing do not hear every word!

Do not be discouraged by background noise.

Practice locating the source of the sound by listening only.

Increase your tolerance for loud sounds SLOWLY.

Practice learning to discriminate different speech sounds.

Listen to something read aloud, "books on tape" are available at your library.

Gradually extend the number of persons with whom you speak.

Gradually increase the number of situations in which you use your hearing aids.

Take part in an organized course of aural rehabilitation, see your audiologist to learn about these courses.

Realistic Expectations

Hearing aids work very well when fitted and adjusted appropriately. Hearing aids amplify sound! The left and right hearing aids will probably not fit exactly the same and they probably wont sound exactly the same. You might find you like one hearing aid better than the other Nonetheless, hearing aids should be comfortable with respect to physical fit and sound quality. Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing and are not as good as normal hearing. You will be aware of hearing aids in your ears. Until you get used to it, your voice will sound "funny" when you wear hearing aids. Hearing aids should not to be worn in extremely noisy environments. Some hearing aids have features that make noisy environments more tolerable, however, hearing aids cannot completely eliminate background noise. Background noise is a real bother for many people. I encourage you to speak with your hearing healthcare professional about options that significantly reduce background noise, such as directional microphones, LINK-IT and FM systems, they work very well and I encourage their use.