How Long Does it Take to Get Used to Hearing Aids?
According to this recent study on hearing aids, people in the US wait an average of ten years before seeking help for hearing loss.
Ten years is a long time to leave hearing loss untreated, especially considering how it can negatively impact your quality of life and lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
The most common way to treat hearing impairments is through hearing aids, which can improve not just your ability to communicate but your overall health.
You've likely heard hearing aids mentioned many times, but what exactly are they, and how do they work?
Hearing aids are small electronic devices you wear in or behind your ear. Their purpose is to make certain sounds louder so you can listen, communicate, and participate in everyday activities.
Hearing aids come in three parts: a microphone that picks up the sound around you, a processor that amplifies the sound to suit your hearing loss, and a speaker to deliver the sound into your ear.
Although hearing aids can make a huge difference in addressing problems with hearing, they can also take some getting used to.
Getting used to hearing aids
You may be feeling nervous thinking about getting a hearing aid fitted, but the process is actually quick, simple, and painless.
During the appointment, your audiologist will begin by programming your hearing aids to your exact prescription using real ear verification.
Real ear verification works by assessing your unique anatomy, including the volume of your ear canal. This is the only way to truly measure the hearing aid's effectiveness for your specific hearing loss.
If real ear verification isn’t performed, your hearing device won’t work as well as it should.
Once your hearing aids have been programmed correctly, you can wear them immediately. It's important that your hearing aids be kept in all day and only removed while showering or sleeping. This allows your brain to adapt to your new way of listening.
It may take some time to adjust to having the devices in your ears and the actual sensation of better listening abilities. However, your brain will learn to rewire itself over time.
How long this adjustment period lasts will vary from person to person and can depend on certain factors.
How long does it take to get used to hearing aids?
One of the most common queries we receive from patients is, "how long will it take me to adjust to my new hearing aids?"
Many people are surprised to learn that it can take some time to adjust to hearing aids, especially if you've never worn them before. Although many people will adjust to new hearing aids in a couple of weeks, it can take up to four months for others.
The truth is that although adjustment periods can vary, your brain will always adjust to a hearing aid that has been correctly fitted. Remember, along with getting used to the feel of your hearing aids, you're re-learning all the old sounds that your brain has forgotten how to register. Even the sound of your voice may sound unfamiliar or overly loud. This will pass in the first few hours or days.
You may also have missed many sounds around you, like the rustle of leaves, the sound of your feet walking, or the rubbing of your clothes.
Readjusting to these environmental sounds can take more time, and patience is needed if you hope to get the most out of your hearing aid.
When your brain gets used to these noises, it’s able to focus on what sounds are important and block out those that are not.
Tips for getting used to your hearing aids
- Wear your hearing aid at home to begin with
- Don't get discouraged if it feels strange at first
- Start by only wearing your hearing aid a few hours a day
- Begin in a quiet room
- Don't adjust the volume too much
- Use your hearing aid while watching TV
- Try having a conversation with one person
- Try using your hearing aids in a loud setting
- Attend follow-up visits with your audiologist
What is normal and what is not normal with new hearing aids?
After your hearing aids are inserted, certain things may make you want to take it out or stop using it, despite being perfectly normal. However, it's important to distinguish what exactly is normal and what is not.
What is normal with new hearing aids?
In the beginning, no matter the type of hearing aids, it's typical for everything around you to sound louder than it should, even your own voice.
Your brain may also feel like it’s being overloaded with sounds. This is because it’ll pick up on background noises it never noticed before. For example, the humming of the refrigerator may feel unbearably loud.
As a result, you may need to turn your hearing aids down one or two clicks in the first few days.
Remember: Your hearing aids will return to the setting your audiologist programmed them to every morning.
What is not normal with new hearing aids?
On the other hand, there are symptoms associated with new hearing aids that aren’t normal, and these can include headaches or pain in the ear canal. If you experience a headache, turn your hearing aids down, take them out for the day, and try again the next day.
If you're suffering from pain in your ear canal, it's best to return to your audiologist for treatment. Hearing aids often need to be adjusted several times during the trial period. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your audiologist if you think your hearing aids need to be adjusted.
Another common symptom with new hearing aids is itchy ears. This usually clears up in the first week, but if not, your audiologist will be able to help you.
We hope you now clearly understand how long it takes to adjust to new hearing aids.
If you’d like some further insight into various hearing issues or are looking to begin your journey towards getting hearing aids, we'd love to help.
Schedule a Hearing Test online today or call us at 916-646-2471.
Interested in learning more? Attend one of our regular hearing solution events to learn more about our unique approach to hearing loss or give us a call at 916-646-2471.Contact Us Now