If your loved one has just received hearing aids, you’re probably filled with excitement. Both you and your loved one have anticipated the ability to communicate and enjoy life’s beautiful sounds together.
While hearing aids provide immediate improvements, adjusting to them can take weeks or months.
The best gift you can give your loved one is patience as their brain learns to recognize sounds.
Here are some things to expect as your loved one begins to hear.
It Takes Time to Adjust
Realistically, it can take two to four months for patients to adapt to their hearing aids fully. This doesn’t mean they won’t sense immediate improvement, but the process of recognizing new sounds is different for each person.
Hearing aids often need to be adjusted several times initially to achieve optimal, comfortable sound. Remind your loved one that, for most people, hearing loss was gradual.
Different sounds on the spectrum were lost at different times, such as the humming sound of the wind versus the high-pitched sound of a telephone. Distinguishing these again takes time.
Encourage them to trust the process and not be discouraged if it isn’t perfect right away.
Practice and Patience are Essential
When people first begin hearing again, certain sounds can be startling to them. Some sounds will seem too loud at first. Hearing is a complex function that requires the brain and senses to work together.
Their brain needs to relearn how to focus on each sound selectively. With practice, their brains will acclimate both to the volume and distinction of each sound.
You can help by offering suggestions like listening to books on tape or other sounds that will retrain their brain without being startling.
Remind them that a follow-up appointment is important to monitor their progress.
Rest is Important
Encourage your loved one to get plenty of rest since relearning to hear is tiring. Lower the hearing aid’s volume or remove them occasionally if they seem exhausted.
It’s important to wear them as much as possible since practice ensures quick adaptation. But going from no sound to constant sound can be overwhelming, so suggest that they wear them part-time at first, and work up to wearing them all day.
Learning to hear again is like learning to drive a car. It takes time, practice, and intent focus initially, but soon it becomes second nature.
Set Realistic Expectations
Hearing aids are incredibly capable of restoring sound. But if your loved one has severe or total hearing loss, hearing aids will dramatically improve hearing but won’t create the perfect sound.
The key is to help your loved one focus on improving as they adjust to their new ability. Ensure that auditory confusion is normal at first as everyday sounds are reintroduced to their brain’s consciousness.
Soon, sounds will become part of their subconsciousness again, and hearing will be much easier.
Encourage loved ones to stick with it through the initial adjustment since the rewards of hearing again are tremendous.
Dr. Scott Marquardt and the team at Clarity Hearing feel honored to restore your loved one’s hearing.
We’re dedicated to finding the perfect fit and custom settings for each patient’s hearing aid and are always here to help.
If your loved one is experiencing challenges during this time, encourage them to visit their hearing care expert for advice.
Alternatively, please speak to our friendly team for advice on how to best support them.
Don’t hesitate to contact us— it’s our privilege and pleasure to provide a smooth transition to hearing.