Did you know your brain plays a big role in how you hear?
So many of us are either wearing or going to wear hearing aids in our lifetime and you may be wondering what to expect from them. There are so many features and benefits that you will experience while wearing your new hearing aids, they are much more advanced now with bluetooth connectivity, noise reduction (hearing aids have some amount of noise reduction available), directional microphones, rechargeable batteries and the best of all they are much smaller than they have been which means they are more discrete whilst not losing any of their functionality.
Did you know your brain plays a big role in how you hear? After being fitted with a new pair of hearing aids, it will take time for your brain to adjust to the sound of the aids. If this is your first set of hearing aids, there has been a period of time your hearing loss has been deteriorating and therefore your brain hasn’t been receiving all the inputs it should. Your brain has slowly forgotten what the world around you sounds like. When you are fitted with hearing aids for the first time, your brain is reintroduced to the full array of sounds and noises around you, some of which you may not have heard in a long time! Maybe you were able to follow the conversation with our client service officer more easily after your appointment? Or did you have to double think what the clicking sounds (car indicators) were in the car because you hadn’t heard them in so long?
Your audiologist will work with you at your appointment to set the aids so they are at a comfortable level and give your brain a chance to re-acclimatise to the sounds around you. The more you wear your hearing aids the more chance your brain has to relearn. Aim for full time use, however hearing all these sounds again can be initially tiring. Take a break if you need then put the aids in again the next day!
Here are some other helpful tips and tricks for first time use of hearing aids:
- You might also find you can hear your own voice more than what you’re used to. Again this is normal, your brain hasn’t heard your voice for some time. This will settle over time the more you use your hearing aids.
- Resist the urge to start adjusting the settings. If you have had your hearing aids fitted with the help of an audiologist, then they have likely taken the time to ensure the right listening profile to meet your needs. As such, you shouldn’t have to adjust the volume or settings of it too much. It may be tempting to try and turn the volume up is something is a little far away, but you might be trying to achieve more than what a healthy hearing range offers without noticing it. Furthermore, modern hearing aids adjust to different listening environments automatically, so you shouldn’t need to adjust them regularly at all.
- You’re going to get the best results from your hearing aids if you make sure you take care of them. Cleaning them regularly is essential, as is making sure you store them in their safe case when you’re sleeping at night, or going to the bathroom. Avoid exposing them to too much moisture, as it can affect their performance just as much as dust and earwax can. Bring your hearing aids into our clinic for regular servicing of your hearing aids, we are happy to help with any issues you may be having with your hearing and hearing aids.
- Hearing aids should not whistle in your ears. Hearing aid feedback could be a sign that something could be wrong with your hearing aids, or they need to be cleaned. In this case, it’s best to contact your audiologist and discuss with them why you are hearing feedback from your hearing aids.
- Wearing your hearing aids so feel comfortable in your ears. They should not hurt, cause any sore spots or even fall out. If anything like this happens please inform your audiologist as this needs to be addressed, they can be reviewed and made to fit you once again. There shouldn’t be any reason for you not to wear them other than when you are sleeping or swimming.
- Most of all don’t be afraid to contact your Audiologist if you are having any issues or you feel they are not functioning well for you.
Remember, wearing hearing aids should be an enjoyable experience, hearing new sounds for the first time without even knowing you are wearing a hearing device. If you have any questions, queries or concerns don’t hesitate to get in touch with your audiologist who will be able to assist and support you at any stage of your journey.