Persevering with hearing aids

Many first-time wearers of hearing aids become frustrated, but it’s worth persevering

Persevering with hearing aids

While a number people can put hearing aids in for the first time and feel comfortable, most people take time to adjust. It is important to remember that perseverance with hearing aids is well worth the wait, as over time you will be able to hear more clearly.

Most hearing losshappens over a long period of time. During this gradual loss, the brain becomes accustomed to hearing less, and trains itself to deal with the new, slightly muffled sounds. The first time you wear hearing aidsyou will probably notice that everything sounds different. Sounds will be louder and more distinct, and there will be a considerable amount of background noise you aren’t used to, which can be quite distracting.

One of the reasons it can take time to adjust to hearing aids is that your brain needs to relearn how to understand speech, especially now that it is getting much more information than it is used to. Your brain is also unused to filtering background noise, and it takes time to adjust and filter out these sounds. It can take between a few weeks and three months to fully adjust to wearing hearing aids, but you can help the transition by taking note of the following tips:

  • To begin with, you don’t have to wear your hearing aids all the time. In fact, it is recommended that you only wear them for a couple of hours during the first few days.
  • Wear your hearing aids regularly. This is one of the most important ways you can help yourself to acclimatise to the new sounds you are hearing.
  • To begin with, only wear your hearing aids in a quiet, relaxing environment, such as your home.
  • Start by only talking to one person at a time – listening to a group of people talk can be difficult, so work your way up to it.
  • Gradually increase how long you wear your hearing aids. Eventually most people wear them most of their waking hours.
  • Gradually increase the situations in which you wear your hearing aids – introduce yourself to noisier environments as you feel more comfortable with your hearing.

Not everyone will have the same experience with hearing aids, and these tips are just a general guide to get you started. The best person to talk to about using your hearing aids is your hearing technician.

Ear & Hearing Australia
Clark Audiology


    To make a comment, please register or login
    11th Sep 2013
    I have worn hearing aids for 35+ years and I agree entirely with the tips given. In fact I often pass on similar tips when people mention they or their spouse/mother/father etc. won't wear them because of the sudden change in what they hear. I usually tell people to wear them for just 20 minutes at a time to start with and gradually build up from there. And I encourage people to get the best they can afford, even top up the pension-eligible ones if they can. Hearing aids prevent social isolation by providing a vital conversation link to family and friends, and are worth the time and effort in learning to use them well.

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