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How to Use Hearing Aid Devices?

an audiologist showing her patient a few different hearing aids

Getting used to wearing a hearing aid can take time, especially for first-time users of a hearing aid

If you have never worn a hearing aid before, you need to give yourself enough time to get used to it. Make sure you are familiar with how the controls work. Practice putting the hearing aid in and taking it back out. This might seem awkward and fiddly to do to start with, but many people will get used to doing this without thinking about it within a week or so. If you need more help, your audiologist can show you again how to do it properly. 

Take the time to get used to the sound of the new hearing aid. A hearing aid allows you to hear sounds that you might not have been able to hear for a while, but they are unlikely to sound completely natural. For example, some people might find that their own voice sounds quite strange to them. Don’t worry about this at first, but if you find that you can’t get used to the sound of your own voice within a couple of weeks, you should tell your audiologist. Remember that you have probably become used to not hearing as many sounds, and will need time to get used to hearing more again. 

Using your hearing aid

Build up your use of the hearing aid gradually. Start by listening to easier sounds, such as watching something like the news. Don’t try to use it in difficult listening situations immediately, such as in noisy places like restaurants, until you are more used to the hearing aid. You should also give your ear time to get used to wearing the device. If you use your hearing aid all the time straight away, you may find it uncomfortable. It is better to build up gently, starting with half an hour a day and increasing to all day over a few weeks. 

Listening tactics

Even with the best hearing aid, some listening environments can still be very difficult to get used to. There are a few different things you can do to make it easier to follow what people are saying:

  • Tell others about your hearing loss and let them know how they can best help you to follow what they are saying. Ask people to speak clearly to you without shouting.
  • Be very clear about your needs for better communication. This will make it easier to make conversation.
  • Face the person speaking and ask them to face you.
  • Stand three to six feet away from the person speaking. Most hearing aids only have a small microphone, so being closer to the sound is better. 
  • Stand in a well-lit area as it can be easier to understand what someone is saying when you can see their facial expressions. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat themselves or rephrase what they said. If you avoid doing this, assuming you will things up again later in the talk, you may lose track of the conversation completely. 
  • Gestures, facial expression and mouth movements can help you to better follow what someone is saying. Use visual clues to help you.
  • If you need to, ask the person speaking to speak more slowly. Ask them to face you and speak clearly. 
  • Ask the people you’re chatting with to let you know when they are starting a new topic of conversation and what the subject is to help you follow the conversation better. 
  • It can help to ask questions with yes/no answers to confirm information if you’re not sure you heard things correctly, for example, asking did you say meet outside the bank? rather than did you say meet at the bank or at the park?
  • Keep calm, and don’t panic. 

Hearing loss can happen to anyone and can be caused by lots of different things, such as a sudden loud noise, medication or just getting older. Exposure to loud noises over the years, such as going to loud concerts or working in a very loud environment, can gradually cause your hearing to become damaged.

You may lose the ability to hear sounds at certain pitches or may find your hearing is less sensitive in general, especially in environments with a lot of background noise. If you notice your hearing is going, you should seek medical treatment in order to protect the rest of your hearing as best as you can. To learn more about gradual hearing loss and what can be done about it, call The Center for Audiology today: Houston: 713-255-0035, Pearland: 713-800-5050.