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Living with hearing aids

Getting used to your hearing aids

When you are fitted with your first hearing aid, you might hear a little too much. This is because you have adjusted over time to having reduced hearing capabilities. Now that your ability to hear has been enhanced, your brain needs to re-learn sounds. What you have come to know as ‘normal’ will suddenly and dramatically change for the better. It can take some getting used to, so stick at it, and enjoy the benefits of living with hearing aids

Adjusting gradually

The more you wear your hearing aids, the quicker you will get used to living with them, so try to wear them as often as possible. You may be happy to wear them all day from the beginning, or for just a few hours to start with, slowly increasing each day. Some people are able to try their devices in all situations from day one, while others are more comfortable to start somewhere quiet before attempting noisy places. Overall, everyone takes longer to get used to wearing hearing aids in noisy environments.

Increase wear time day by day

Try different scenarios where you feel comfortable wearing your hearing aids, both in quiet and in noise. Wear them for as long as you can tolerate and increase the duration every day.

Adjusting to noise

People with normal hearing only hear 75% of conversations when there is background noise. Someone with hearing loss will hear much less, even with the best hearing aids. Your device will help adjust the noise level to make it more comfortable for you, but you’ll also need to make some simple adjustments yourself:

  • Try positioning your back to the noise and face the person you’re speaking to
  • If using manual change programs, make sure you’re in the ‘Noise’ program your audiologist or audiometrist has set up for you on both hearing aids
  • Try watching someone’s face for visual cues while they are talking

Adjusting to quiet

You’ll be able to hear many sounds you’ve been missing, so you could suddenly be more aware of the:

  • Rustling sound of the newspaper
  • Clanging of dishes in the sink
  • Hum of your computer
  • Footsteps on hard surfaces
  • Signal indicators in the car

Over time, your brain will readjust to these sounds so you won’t notice them as much.

Using the phone

You might experience some whistling or feedback when you hold the phone up to your ear. Try holding the earpiece in different positions to find where the ‘sweet spot’ is.

Adjusting to loud sounds

A sudden loud burst of sound is enough to make anyone jump, even if they have perfect hearing. Your devices have been set up so these sounds won’t cause any damage to your hearing. If certain loud sounds, like those encountered while listening to music, are a concern, don't forget to discuss this with your audiologist or audiometrist. 

If you have any questions about living with hearing aids, please get in contact with your local hearing clinic.

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