Mature couple shopping for groceries together both wearing invisible hearing aids.

Tips for Getting Used to Hearing Aids

July 14, 2020

Wearing hearing aids is an important step towards improving your hearing and quality of life. However, it may take a few weeks or several months before you fully benefit from your new devices.

Getting used to hearing aids takes time. They won’t work perfectly the minute you put them on.

What should I expect?

Hearing aids will allow you to hear speech better. But, you may feel overwhelmed by some sounds you haven’t heard for a long time. From traffic and mechanical noises to air-conditioning systems and even your own voice. Sounds may also register as unnatural and strange at first. Some sounds may even be bothersome. 

As you lose your hearing, the area of your brain that processes sound doesn’t receive enough stimulation. Without that stimulation, the brain begins to rewire itself and uses the area for other tasks. Once you start wearing hearing aids, your brain needs to rewire itself once more. It needs to accommodate all the sounds that you are hearing again. It needs to relearn which sounds to focus on and which sounds to filter through.

What can I do to get used to my hearing aids?

The most important thing to remember is to be patient. Be assured that with more time and experience, your brain will adjust. It will process wanted sounds better and minimize unwanted background noise. Over time, you will become so accustomed to your hearing aids that you may even forget that you are wearing them. 

9 Tips for getting used to hearing aids

We want the transition to wearing hearing aids to be as easy as possible. That’s why we’ve identified 9 things that you can do when you first start wearing them.

  1. Wear them in comfortable environments – It can be overwhelming at first to wear them in places with a lot of background noise. Begin by wearing your hearing aids in a known, calm, and controlled environment, like your home. That way you can identify and listen to several known sounds that you may not have heard for a while. Listen out for boiling kettles or ticking clocks.
  1. Sign up for Lexie Rewards  – Lexie Rewards will guide and support you through the first 45 days with your new hearing aids. The program will help you every step of the way. This makes the hearing aid adjustment period as short and easy as possible. You’ll also earn points towards future purchases when you wear your Lexies.
  1. Gradually increase the length of time that you wear your hearing aid – Although it’s recommended that you wear hearing aids the whole day, you can wear them for a few hours a day to start. Then, slowly increase your wear-time to get used to them. Re-training your brain to process sounds that you had been missing out on needs energy. So, it’s normal to feel strained and tired in the beginning.
  1. Be consistent! – Your hearing aids should be worn every day. Don’t use them sporadically, or your brain won’t receive sufficient stimulation to adapt. You won’t benefit from your Lexie hearing aids the way that you should.
  1. Adjust to the sound of your own voice – One of the most common complaints from first-time hearing aid users is that their voice sounds strange. Get used to the sound of your voice by reading loudly to yourself from time to time. Then you will feel more comfortable engaging in conversation with friends and family. Our hearing experts can also adjust your hearing aids if needed. But, you will need time to adjust.
  1. Practice in different environments – A trip to the grocery store or a busy restaurant is a good place to start. It may feel challenging with all the background noise at first. But, soon enough you won’t want to leave your house without your hearing aids.
  1. Use active communication strategies – Use active communication strategies together with your hearing aids and get the most out of your conversations with family and friends.
    • When you communicate with others you rely on your hearing and vision. Look at the speaker’s face and make sure it is well lit.
    • Communicate with someone when they are in the same room as you. 
    • Reduce unnecessary background noise. This includes tv or radio when possible, especially if they don’t need to be on.
    • Don’t be shy to let others know how they can help when needed.
  1. Keep a notebook of your experiences – Reference these notes when you speak to one of our hearing experts. Write down your positive and challenging experiences. Then, the hearing expert has the necessary information to make the necessary adjustments. so that you have a more comfortable listening experience.
  1. Practice makes perfect – Engage in some aural rehabilitation activities when adjusting to your new hearing aids. These listening activities will help you better understand speech and conversation. There are useful free online training resources listed below:

This infographic contains notes that are important to keep in mind when first wearing hearing aids. 

It's important to note that it takes time to get used to hearing aids but by keeping these tips in mind a hearing aid wearer will quickly adapt.
It’s important to note that it takes time to get used to hearing aids but by keeping these tips in mind a hearing aid wearer will quickly adapt.
Image of post writer Shouneez Yousuf.

Written by Shouneez Yousuf

DPhil. Audiology; M.Communication Pathology Audiology; B.Communication Pathology Audiology

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