The Adjustment Period
Whether you’re getting hearing aids for the very first time or you’re upgrading to a new pair, you can expect a hearing aid adjustment period. That means it may take several weeks or months before you’re completely used to wearing them – and that’s okay. This is something that everyone has to go through. During this time, it’s important to keep your head up, stay patient and not get discouraged. Eventually, using your hearing aids will become second nature and you won’t even realize they’re there.
How Long Does It Take?
The time it takes to get used to hearing aids is different for everyone. It can range anywhere from a few weeks up to four months. If you’ve had hearing aids before, the adjustment period will most likely be a lot shorter. But if you’re a first-time hearing aid user – and especially if your hearing loss is profound – be aware that it can take awhile.
That’s because a big part of the adjustment period is giving your brain time to relearn how to process and filter auditory stimuli. You may start hearing sounds you haven’t heard in a long time, like a ticking clock and cars driving by, which can be jarring for you and your brain as it tries to process them.
When you switch to a new pair of hearing aids, your brain doesn’t have to spend as much time doing this. However, you’ll still have to get used to how the new devices feel in your ears and you may have to make a few trips to the audiologist to make sure the settings are where you need them to be.
Tips to Make Adjusting Easier
Millions of people have gone through this adjustment period before, and so can you. As you prepare to wear your new devices for the first time, here are some tips that might help:
- Get advice from family or friends who wear hearing aids
- Follow instructions from your hearing aid specialist
- Start out slow and only wear them for an hour or two at a time
- Get used to wearing them at home first before venturing out
- Try quiet places first, like a bank or library, before a noisy restaurant
- Read aloud to get used to the volume of speech
- Wear them regularly so you can get used to them faster
- Go back for frequent adjustments to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible
- Expect that achieving optimal comfort and performance may take some time
While the hearing aid adjustment period can be tough, know that it will all be worth it in the end. Hearing aids can significantly improve your quality of life and help you communicate effectively every single day. They can’t restore hearing loss, but they can help you navigate the world much more easily. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your provider about what’s normal and what’s not. Remember that your hearing team and your family and friends are here for you along this journey.