Retraining your brain takes time and patience with new hearing aids
If you’ve just resolved to improving your hearing health by investing in hearing aids – well done! Life is only going to get more fulfilling from here. Hearing aids are complex and amazing little pieces of technology. However, there are a number of ways you can help your hearing aids work harder for you. After all, teamwork between your ears, brain and these wonderful devices is what makes the dream work. We’re going to let you in on some top tips to get the most out of your hearing aids, here.
Wear them, wear them, wear them
It might feel quite strange at first, like anything new, but resist the urge to keep removing those hearing aids! We promise that your hearing aids will only work effectively for you if you wear them for the length of time each day that your hearing health specialist recommends. Your brain will need time to ‘relearn’ the sounds it has been missing out on, and it can only do this through consistent exposure to them. At first, even your own voice will sound louder and perhaps a bit different, but you will adapt to this in time.
Even if you’re home alone, keep them in. Practicing with your hearing aids in quiet environments will build up your tolerance when it comes to navigating a noisy, social setting.
Practice makes perfect
The first time you took up a new skill, it probably took you a little bit of practice to master it. For example, golf or knitting. As the weeks went by, you likely found yourself making less and less errors and everything became a lot more natural. It’s the same with training your brain to understand speech and sounds again after you’ve been living with untreated hearing loss. If the brain is deprived of sounds, it can forget how to attach meaning to these. Especially if your hearing loss has gone unchecked over a long time.
Basically, don’t lose purpose. It’s completely normal if you don’t magically begin hearing everything perfectly as soon as you give your hearing aids a whirl for the first time! The trick is to be kind to yourself and have reasonable expectations. Even people with normal hearing don’t catch everything the first time!
To make the transition easier on yourself, share this information with those you spend the most time with. If they too understand that returning to good hearing health is a work in progress, they can set their expectations accordingly.
A little care goes a long way
Like many pieces of technology, good care and maintenance will extend the life of your hearing aids and keep them working effectively. Think of it like how you have your car serviced regularly to keep it running well and prevent unnecessary breakdowns.
The sound quality and performance of your hearing aids will benefit from regular check-ups. You can have these done through your audiology clinic every 3-4 months ideally. Every year, we also recommend that you visit your clinic to have a hearing check, to ensure that your hearing hasn’t changed. Your hearing health specialist can adjust your hearing aid settings based on the results of your appointment.
Got any questions about your hearing aids? Your friendly local ihear clinic can help. Check out our locations here.