Hearing aids go beyond helping you to hear better, but they also improve your mental and physical health as well as improving cognitive function, according to HearIt.org. Your hearing aids will allow you to live a better quality of life with greater independence. Initially, it might take a little bit of time to get used to them. I do my best to encourage my patients in the North Houston area to endure adjusting to their hearing aids because they will reap so many wonderful, long-term benefits. To make things easier, I have put together a quick guide on when and how long you should wear your new hearing aids when you are just getting started.

Should I Wear My Hearing Aids Full Time?

The short answer for those new to their hearing aids is no. It is better to take your time and lead to full-time wearing a little bit at a time. Rushing into full-time wearing will lead to frustration and dissatisfaction, motivating many new users to toss them in the junk drawer with other unused electronic gadgets.

Training Your Brain

Your brain is a muscle. Just like other muscles in your body, it becomes weak when it is not in use. As your hearing loss developed and fewer sounds reached your brain for processing, the sound processing portion of your brain began to weaken. The amplification of sound awakens your brain to more intense sound processing it is not used to. Wearing your hearing aids full time from the very beginning would be the equivalent of doing 250 sit-ups and 100 pushups your first day back at the gym.

Start By Wearing Them at Home

One of the most challenging adjustments for most new hearing aid wearers involve background noises such as the hum of the refrigerator motor, street noises, the phone ringing, etc. Also, the volume and tone of your own voice, chewing, swallowing, or even breathing are also a major shock. Take some time getting used to these familiar sounds before overwhelming yourself with sounds in the world outside. To speed up the adjustment process, read aloud to yourself during the first week or two.

How Long Should I Wear My Hearing Aids Each Day?

The level of shock from amplification varies from case to case. Instrument types or styles have their own advantages and disadvantages, and each patient reacts differently to their hearing aids. Consequently, providing a set amount of time that you should wear your hearing aids is difficult to do. The idea is to wear them for as long as you can support the various levels of discomfort, and then take a break.

Realize that the blood vessels, skin, and muscles in and around your outer ear have to adapt to the weight and bulk (however small and light) added by the device. When you begin to experience soreness and discomfort, it is best to remove your hearing aids, massage the area, and give your body a break.

The ideal way to build up your ability to wear your hearing aids full time is to shorten the duration between the breaks and lengthen the period you wear them until you are comfortable wearing them full time. Returning to the earlier example, this strategy would be similar to starting with 15 sit-ups and five pushups your first day at the gym, and then increasing by 1 or 2 more each day.

Clarity Hearing Can Help

Wearing your hearing aids full time will provide you with some great benefits in the long run, but you need to allow your body and your brain some time to adjust to them, or you could become frustrated and dissatisfied. The Clarity Hearing team and I are eager to provide all of the support, encouragement, and guidance you need to get the very best advantages from your hearing aids. Contact us for more information about adjusting to your new hearing aids today.

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Dr. Shital Patel, Au.D

Dr. Shital Patel, Au.D

Dr. Patel received her bachelor of science from the University of Texas in 1998, her master of science in audiology from Lamar University in 2000, and her doctorate of audiology from the University of Florida in 2003. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology, the Texas Academy of Audiology, and the American-Language-Hearing Association.