It comes as a surprise to most of our patients that hearing aids are not like glasses. A new hearing aid user doesn’t just put in the hearing aids and magically regain all the sounds lost. Because it can take up to 10 years before a person seeks out help for hearing loss, many sounds are lost and the brain even can redirect unused hearing connections to other tasks. You could even say the ears and brain are out-of-shape and very much in need of exercise by the time hearing aids are purchased.
When you first get hearing aids, think about it as an exercise program for your ears and your brain. Hearing aids are the work-out tools you need to exercise and train your ears and brain to becoming healthy again. Your audiologist acts as your personal trainer and will recommend a program to get your hearing health back on track.
First and most important your audiologist will remind you to wear your hearing aids. This may seem straightforward, but new hearing aid users can often grow frustrated resulting in hearing aids put away in a drawer. The less you wear your hearing aids the longer the adjustment period becomes. Your audiologist will also recommend listening exercises. These can be anything from reading a book out loud or using an app on your phone or computer. Listening exercises are designed to help you practice with your new hearing aids to gain confidence. Finally, your audiologist will recommend regular follow ups. In follow up appointments, you can discuss difficult listening situations and your audiologist can provide insight into setting adjustments that could help. Plus, your audiologist can examine and clean your hearing aids to ensure they are in good working order for better longevity.
Healthy hearing is possible, but it can take some exercise to get there which is why it is important to enlist the help of a hearing health professional.