Many patients feel uncomfortable when wearing hearing aids for the first time, such as: Why do I hear unnatural sounds when I wear a hearing aid? Why can I hear the sound but cannot hear it well? In fact, hearing aids are only the beginning of hearing rehabilitation, and it takes some time to adapt to wearing hearing aids for the first time.
Why is there an adaptation period for hearing aids?
We all learn to listen to sounds from birth, to recognize the voices of our loved ones, and to listen to sounds that are useful to us in a noisy environment. The longer the hearing loss lasts, the worse the ability to recognize familiar sounds and speech sounds in noise, and in some cases, the more cognitive impairment can occur. In the early stages of hearing aid wearing, you may feel uncomfortable and unnatural. On the one hand, hearing loss causes a lack of sound stimulation for a period of time, and it takes time for the patient to readjust to the sounds heard through the hearing aid. On the other hand, hearing aids are electronic devices that help compensate for hearing and have different mechanisms than our real ears. Therefore, it takes time to adapt.
How do I get through the adjustment period?
The adjustment time for hearing aids varies from person to person. Some people will adjust immediately, while others will take weeks or months, so patients must be prepared. The following points should also be noted.
Adherence to auditory rehabilitation habilitation
After the hearing aids have been fitted, you need to slowly adapt to them under the guidance of an audiologist and carry out adaptive training for auditory rehabilitation. For example, at the first stage of training, wear the hearing aid for 1 to 2 hours a day to re-familiarize yourself with various sounds, such as listening to familiar sounds first and then unfamiliar sounds. For example the sound of cooking in the kitchen, the sound of the alarm clock at home, the sound of family conversations, etc. The focus of this phase is to regain the sound, to feel the various sounds you hear after wearing the hearing aid, to distinguish the difference between the sounds, and finally to remember each sound. Note: When wearing hearing aids for the first time, do not go to the downtown area or the road, as this environment is noisy and silent ears will have difficulty adapting at once, resulting in uncomfortable feelings.
Insist on wearing them
Some elderly people only wear their hearing aids when they need them, such as when they are watching TV at night or going out, and usually take them off and put them back in the box. If they feel uncomfortable, they think that the hearing aid is “not working well” or “uncomfortable”, which is not correct. Wearing hearing aids requires a process of adaptation, and intermittent wearing will affect the adaptive ability of the auditory nerve, so it is recommended to wear them every day.
Some elderly people do not wear hearing aids and then stop wearing them to adjust them. It is recommended to go to a hearing aid fitting center for a hearing review every once in a while. If there is any change in hearing or if there are some listening problems, you should inform the audiologist to adjust or solve them in time so that the best effect of the hearing aid can be achieved.
Maintain patience and confidence
Patients and family members should be patient and confident during the adaptation period. The patient should follow the rehabilitation advice provided by the fitter, and the family should give full support to the patient at this time and master the skills of conversation. If the patient’s attitude is negative and the family does not cooperate, it is likely that your hearing aid will become a “drawer hearing aid”. This is why wearing a hearing aid is not an individual matter, but a joint effort between the family and the fitter is needed to get through the adjustment period.
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