The single most important factor in the successful transition to amplification is the amount of time devoted to wearing your hearing aids each day. Experts recommend starting with 1 or 2 hours a day and gradually building to fill your waking hours. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to hear and understand all conversation right from the start. It takes the brain a period of time to relearn the sounds you’ve been missing without hearing aids.
When you first start wearing hearing aids, you’ll notice an increase in the noise levels around you. The noise has always been there, but your hearing loss muffled the sounds. You will get used to these sounds again. As with anything new, time and patience are necessary to adapt to your newfound sense of hearing.
Because hearing is only part of how we communicate, reading lips, facial expressions and gestures can enhance the relearning process and help fill in what amplification alone may miss. Following are some additional recommendations for new hearing aid wearers:
- If possible, minimize distractions while having a conversation.
- Sit face-to-face with the person who’s speaking and look directly at them while they’re speaking.
- In larger group meetings, sit as close to the speaker as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember that most people won’t realize you have a hearing problem until you bring it up.
- Expect to hear better. A positive attitude is the best guarantee of success.