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Life with hearing aids

When you've lived with hearing loss for a while, you might be surprised with all the new experiences you'll have when first wearing hearing aids. But with some helpful techniques, you can make the most of your experience.


Managing expectations

When first getting hearing aids, there can be a tendency to expect too much too soon. It’s important to understand that there’ll be an adjustment period and to just be patient. Although hearing aids won't restore your hearing, but they can help make sounds more understandable, so you can get back to living.

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Getting used to hearing aids

When you first start wearing your hearing aids, some sounds might seem too loud which can be a little overwhelming. As you adjust and establish healthy habits with your hearing aids, your brain will re-learn which sounds to focus on and which to turn down.

Stay positive and be patient

Although you’ll immediately notice the impact your hearing aids will have on your hearing, it typically takes a few months to fully adapt. At times it may feel tiring, but patience and a positive attitude are key to achieving your goal to hear and understand better.

Adjust the volume

When you switch on your hearing aids, they’ll automatically adjust to the appropriate volume. Depending on your hearing aid model and how your hearing care professional has set up the hearing aids, you can also adjust the volume yourself. You can do this by using a button on the hearing aids or with the myPhonak app, but remember, not to make it too loud, because it likely won’t help make sounds clearer.

Actively participate in conversations

It’s common to experience situations where it’s difficult to follow a conversation, especially if a lot of people are talking at once. When this happens, move closer to the person you would like to hear and focus on them. With time and practice you can feel more confident and comfortable. Hearing solutions like a Roger™ wireless microphone can also help reduce background noise and transmit speech directly to your hearing devices.

Sit in the front in public places

For many people with hearing loss, places like theatres, places of worship, and conference halls can be challenging listening situations. Ideally, you should find a seat located in the front and center of the room where acoustics are clearest, and you can see the speaker’s face. Some public places now have technical equipment to make hearing and understanding easier, so it can be helpful to ask if they have devices that can connect to telecoil within your hearing aids.

Focus on the context of a story

When you’re enjoying a TV show or the radio, it can be challenging to understand each word. Just try to focus on the overall context and consider using an additional listening device like the TV Connector or Roger™ wireless microphone to help give your hearing aids a boost.

Try taking a hands-free phone call

There are many ways to improve your experience on the phone, like wearing Phonak Lumity and Phonak Paradise hearing aids that enable hands-free calls and directly stream audio content from iOS®, Android™, or other Bluetooth® enabled devices. You can answer or decline calls with a button, even if your phone is across the room and conveniently direct phone notifications to your hearing aids.

 
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Exercises to train your hearing

There are a few exercises you can practice to help increase success as you adjust to your hearing aids. To start, wear your hearing aids for only a few hours a day and gradually bump up the length of practice time, with the goal of wearing them during all waking hours after a few weeks. The following exercises will help you train your hearing but it’s important to follow the correct order.

Exercise 1: Listen

Start by reading out loud, getting used to your own voice and listening to your breathing. Make soft noises, like rustling paper, flipping a light switch, or jingling your keys. Write down all the sounds you hear in your environment and describe them.

Exercise 2: Follow a conversation

Make a brief hands-free phone call to an acquaintance or chat with a friend or relative in calm, quiet surroundings. Pace yourself and take your time.

Exercise 3: Adapt to loud noises

When you’re confident with the first two exercises try having a conversation in a louder environment. Put a TV on in the background or meet a friend on a sidewalk patio.

Exercise 4: Focus your hearing

Once you can hear better with the assistance of your hearing aids, the next step is focused and alert listening. Concentrate on important sounds and tune-out disruptive noises. To help improve speech understanding when adjusting to your hearing aids, auditory skills training might also be helpful as well. 

 
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Young father with an infant wearing a hearing aid.

Helping babies and toddlers

The powerful connection between hearing and language development is well known. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your child wears their hearing aids whenever they are awake to help support their development.

Encourage wear

As your baby grows, wearing their hearing instruments will be crucial. At first, your baby may seem surprised or bothered and try to remove them. In fact, they may sometimes cry when they are removed because they’ll want to hear the world around them.

Keep a record

Some people keep a record of the hours the hearing aids are in use on a calendar. You can also add notes on new sounds your baby reacts to, or sounds they make to give a fuller picture and track progress. 

Establish a routine

Start off by establishing the hearing aids as part of a daily routine to help increase your child’s comfort. Begin in the morning and continue until bedtime so your child always has access to sounds. A routine is also key in helping your child to identify your voice, which helps create a positive relationship for you both. 

Check the settings

f the child makes it a habit of pulling them out be peristent. If the child has been wearing them consistently and all of a sudden starts pulling them out, check the aids are working, not blocked and check-in with the audiologist.

Empower them

As your child gets older, they may want to express themselves with colored earmolds and hearing aids, such as Sky Marvel hearing aids. There is a large selection of colors and patterns available, so letting your child choose their own design can help make them feel empowered with a sense of ownership.

 
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Find a provider

Whether you’re looking for help with hearing loss or want to get set up with hearing aids, we can help you find a hearing care professional near you. 

Life with hearing aids

Frequently asked questions

If you have hearing loss in only one ear, then wearing a hearing aid in that ear is enough. But if you have hearing loss in both ears, then it is recommended to wear two hearing aids. This improves your ability to localize sounds and improves your chances of good speech understanding, particularly in noisy places.

Your hearing itself will not get worse but your brain’s ability to process the sound may worsen as it gets used to not hearing certain sounds. The sooner you start wearing hearing aids, the more likely your brain will get used to the sound of your hearing aids quicker.

When you first start wearing hearing aids you may notice that things sound unusual or unnatural. Some people notice their own voice sounds particularly loud or echoey. Others have a feeling that their ears are plugged up. These things are very common and many of them disappear or reduce once you have adapted to your hearing aids. If they persist, a hearing care professional may be able to make some changes to the hearing aids or the settings to improve these side effects.

Footnotes

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