Getting used to your hearing aids
As a hearing loss is generally acquired over a period of time, it takes time to adjust to the amplification of a hearing aid which tries to restore the hearing loss. Each individual responds differently to the sound of a hearing aid and each individual can take a different amount of time to adapt to the sound of the aids.
As a guide the following might be used:
- Start wearing the hearing aid(s) at home in quiet situations first.
- Start with 5 hours per day and gradually increase the time by 1 hour per day
- By the end of week 1 you should be wearing the aid all day at home (in quiet situations)
- Start wearing the hearing aid(s) when you are out, in noisier situations.
- Start with 2 hours per outing and gradually increase the time by 1 hour per outing.
- By the end of week 2-3 you should be wearing the aid all day everywhere.
- Only in week 3 start wearing the aid when you are on transport eg. car, bus, etc.
These are recommendations for the minimum length of daily hearing aid use. Hearing aids can be worn for longer periods if it is comfortable to do so.
The hearing aids need to be worn consistently to enable the adaptation process. If they are not worn consistently, the brain does not have sufficient information to enable optimal processing of speech information.
When the hearing aids are worn consistently it can take up to 3 months to acclimatise to the sound of the hearing aid.
Hearing aids can not fully restore natural hearing. To achieve the optimal benefit from the hearing aids communication strategies need to be employed when using the hearing aids.
- Face the person you are talking to
- Ensure that you are at an arm’s distance from the speaker
- Ensure that there is good lighting and the speaker’s face is clearly visible
- Ensure that the background noise is minimal, e.g. turn down the television before starting a conversation.
- Limit the background noise from behind by sitting with your back against a wall
- Inform the person you are talking to that you have a hearing loss
- Ask the person you are talking to speak slow and clearly
- Inform the person you are talking to that shouting often makes speech distorted
- Ask the speaker to paraphrase a sentence if repetition is not useful
If the aids do not seem to provide optimal benefit despite optimal use of communication strategies and optimal adaptation, the use of assistive devices (e.g. loop telephones, TV headsets) may be beneficial. Please ask your audiologist about assistive devices.
At your fitting appointment your Audiologist will hand you a questionnaire to complete. We ask that this form is returned to the Audiology Department 3 months after your fitting so we can assess how you are getting on with your hearing aid. The questionnaire covers questions on ease of use and comfort, maintenance of the aids, sound quality and satisfaction. Upon receipt of the questionnaire we can offer you an appointment to discuss any difficulties you may have or invite you to our walk-in service.