When you take charge of your hearing health, communication will improve at home, with friends and at work, but you should also expect a period of adjustment as you get used to your new hearing aids. Here are some tips specific to the work-day that can help you make this transition.
Be an active listener. First, move closer to the person you want to talk to so you can better focus on what the person is saying. When you have new hearing aids, surrounding noises are clearer which can distract from the conversation. Over time these sounds will become less distracting as your brain re-educates itself to sort through. Next, ask questions and engage in the conversation to ensure you are on the same page. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask to move to a quieter location such as a conference room or office.
Follow up. Another tip is to follow up on conversations using other communication tools. For example, send an email to your co-worker about a previous discussion or meeting or make a phone call using the phone features your new hearing aids provide.
Recognize your unique occupational needs. We don’t all work in an office building. Talk with your hearing care professional about your unique needs not just at home but at work. What listening situations are common? What hearing aid settings will work best? Your hearing care professional will work with you to test the proper settings for your new hearing aids and can also recommend additional hearing device accessories.
Exercise your brain. All the new sounds can make hearing hard at first. Your hearing care provider can recommend exercises to help train your brain to help you focus on the sounds you want to hear.
Finally, get some rest! When you are adjusting to new hearing aids make sure you are getting plenty of rest at night, so you can return to work each day fresh and ready to engage.