Regular use allows the brain to adjust more rapidly and you to benefit quickly.
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The first thing to remember when you get your hearing aid is that your brain has forgotten what it’s like to hear so many sounds. This can be overwhelming and tiring at first, so make sure you take the time to get used to your hearing aid. When you open your eyes after a long deep sleep or walk out of a dark cinema into the blazing sun, your eyes need time to adjust. Your ears need to adjust in a similar way.
Take a look at our top tips for getting used to using your hearing aid below.
Here are some simple exercises to help you get the most from your hearing aid:
- Listen – think about what you’re hearing and make a conscious effort to listen. It is easy to fall into the usual habit of saying “what did you say?” to everybody you’re speaking to, but it’s important to take the time to try and figure it out for yourself. Your own voice may sounds a little strange to begin with, but this will go away after a short time
- Follow a conversation – listen and engage in conversation with someone familiar in a calm, quiet and comfortable environment, or watch television/listen to the radio at home. This can help to speed up your processing for faster hearing and understanding of speech
- Challenge yourself – try wearing your hearing aid in a busy environment like a supermarket or out on a busy street. It’s important to be patient in these environments, but little by little your hearing will improve
- Learn to cut out the noise – practise focusing on a person speaking with other noises in the background. You could try this with a friend or relative at home with the TV or air conditioning on in the background. This may take a lot of effort to begin with, but will eventually become second nature. But remember, even people with normal hearing sometimes struggle to hear in noisy environments
Start in easy environments
Once you understand that your brain has forgotten what it’s like to hear so many sounds, you realise that it needs to be trained to relearn its natural hearing processes. Start in quiet environments or by watching TV at home before moving on to more difficult hearing situations.
Just like anything in life, the more you practice, the more you will benefit. Start by wearing your hearing aid for a few hours per day and gradually increase the duration and complexity of the environments. The more practice you get, the more comfortable you’ll feel, and the more confidence you’ll have to enjoy your life.