When our eyesight starts to worsen, we can put on a pair of glasses and immediately be able to see more clearly. However, hearing is often more complicated, and although hearing aids provide excellent amplification, a period of acclimatisation is needed to get the very best out of the devices.
For most people, hearing levels decrease gradually, meaning that it can take a long time to notice a hearing problem. After acknowledging the change in hearing, there is often even more time before someone decides that they are ready for aids. During this time, which can be several years, your brain becomes used to the reduced level of sound, meaning that when you initially start to wear hearing instruments sounds can feel loud, distorted or even uncomfortable.
The good news is that acclimatisation is possible, and with time the brain adapts easily to its new normal. The sooner you wear hearing devices after noticing a hearing loss the easier it will be, however even after long periods you can adjust well to the new sounds.
So, what can you do to help your acclimatisation and get the best out of your new hearing aids? Here are Aston Hearing’s top tips:
- Wear the aids as much as possible.
The more you wear the devices, the sooner your brain will adapt to the new sounds. If this seems intimidating, consider wearing the aids as much as you can around the home before wearing them out in social situations. Your eventual aim is to have the devices in for all the time you are awake, although feel free to take breaks occasionally if you are finding it difficult.
- Keep a diary.
By keeping a note of which sounds and acoustic environments are working well with the aids and which aren’t, you will have much better outcomes when you see your audiologist for adjustments. Also, you will be able to see which sounds you are becoming used to through acclimatisation. Writing down your thoughts helps you to be in control of the experience and lead it in a positive direction.
- See your audiologist
For the majority of people, acclimatisation occurs within 30-60 days. To reflect this, Aston Hearing offers a 60-day money back guarantee on all our hearing devices. Your audiologist will initially set your aids below prescription to make the sounds less overwhelming initially. As you become used to the devices you can return for as many appointments as you like to make sure that you are getting the best sound.
- Keep practising good communication
Before trying hearing aids, you may have been practising communication techniques at home to make up for your hearing loss, such as lipreading and asking people to speak slowly and clearly. Although the aids will be amplifying the sounds you have been missing, continuing to use these tips will help to speed up your adjustment period and help you to feel comfortable with speech sounds.
Your new hearing aids use the very latest technology to help you to hear better in every situation. Although they perform very well, they need work on your part to help them function to the best of their ability. Although it may take some getting used to, the end result will be worth it – you can expect better hearing and less listening effort, and a full and active social life without worrying about your hearing.