Today’s advanced hearing instruments are engineered to automatically adapt to changes in hearing situations and work with your brain to make all forms of speech more understandable. They also minimize the time it takes to get used to a different way of hearing. But, if you are a first-time wearer (or if you just received your newest hearing instruments), they can represent quite an adjustment in your life. Sadly, statistics show that many first-time wearers give up before even getting through the break-in period. This is a shame, because statistics also show that succeeding with hearing instruments can help avoid the isolation, depression and anxiety associated with long-term, untreated hearing loss.
Success with new hearing instruments depends on the willingness of the wearer to accept this change in hearing and in life. With hearing loss, acceptance doesn’t always come easy or fast; it tends to come after a process of repeated denial that hopefully ends in a better understanding of the need for help. Someone still in denial may not be emotionally able to gather the will-power necessary for commitment to the new situation. If you are hearing impaired, seek the support and encouragement you need from your loved ones. If you know someone experiencing hearing loss, offer the encouragement they need to feel confident in their new situation.
Set Realistic Expectations
Someone with previously perfect hearing could be thinking that as soon as they insert their new hearing aid into their ear that their hearing will magically revert back to “normal”. As much as hearing aid technology has improved over the years (and exponentially in recent years), as a wearer (or the loved one of a wearer), realistic expectations need to be set. Remember that the hearing instrument is designed to offer speech clarity in a number of different hearing environments (a noisy street or auditorium, a quiet room or park, a restaurant, etc.). The new hearing instrument, when worn, will actually work with your brain to relearn how to hear and understand sounds that you have been missing out on. Your hearing care provider will help you manage your expectations. You should always ask questions and never make assumptions about the performance of your hearing instruments.
Keeping your scheduled appointments with your hearing care provider is so important to make sure the hearing experience is meeting your goals as well as to perform any needed maintenance, cleaning, or adjustments. During the break-in period you will experience more success with your new hearing aids by keeping your appointments and following the instructions given to you by your hearing professional. You can help by providing useful feedback…the better the communication, the better the experience. There is no hard and fast rule that says the break-in period is the same for everyone. Some people take two or more weeks to adapt and some people get it all figured out in a couple of days. The longer it takes, the more likely you are to encounter fatigue and frustration from the effort before the full experience arrives. It’s up to you to stay focused on the long-term goal: regaining and retaining an active and vibrant life through better hearing.
If you found this information interesting, please share it with others…you never know who you will reach. The share buttons are within easy reach right down there (look lower). Thanks! If you’d like to talk to a competent and caring hearing professional, contact ihearingaids…they are good people!
Alternate titles for this blog post aka “blog outtakes”:
- Hearing Aids: They Work Better In Your Ears Than On Your Nightstand
- Hearing Aids: They Only Work In Your Ears
- Hearing Aids: They Only Work If You Wear Them
- Hearing Aids: They Only Work If You Turn Them On