Wearing and Using Hearing Aids
People learn at different rates. Some people need a day or two to learn about and adjust to their hearing aids, most need a few weeks and some may need a few months. There is no perfect way to learn about hearing aids. I usually recommend you wear hearing aids for a few hours the first day and add about an hour a day for each following day. Do not try to set an endurance record! Over time you will increase the amount of time you wear hearing aids. Eventually you will wear the hearing aids most of your waking hours. It is recommended you interact with people most familiar to you during your first few days. Start off with your hearing aids in a favorable listening environment (such as one-on-one conversations in quiet) and work towards more difficult listening situations. Let your friends and family know you’re using your new hearing aids.
Before you get hearing aids, make sure you get the right information. I recommend Healthy Hearing's HAPPY Hearing Aids Consumer Guide. It is honestly much more than just a guide, it is a great way to get the information you need before you get your hearing aids.
Please do NOT wear them to a cocktail party or restaurant during the first few weeks, while thinking "this will be a good test." It will absolutely not be a good test – it will be very difficult! You should not wear hearing aids in noise until you are very accustomed to them!
Helpful Steps on How to Use Hearing Aids:
Hearing aids work very well when fitted and adjusted appropriately. Hearing aids amplify sound! The left and right hearing aids will probably not fit exactly the same and they probably won’t sound exactly the same. You might find you like one hearing aid better than the other. Nonetheless, hearing aids should be comfortable with respect to physical fit and sound quality.
Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing and are not as good as normal hearing. You will be aware of hearing aids in your ears. Until you get used to it, your voice will sound "funny" when you wear hearing aids. Hearing aids should not to be worn in extremely noisy environments.
Some hearing aids have features that make noisy environments more tolerable, however, hearing aids cannot completely eliminate background noise. Background noise is a real bother for many people. I encourage you to speak with your hearing healthcare professional about options that significantly reduce background noise, such as directional microphones, LINK-IT and FM systems, they work very well and I encourage their use.
How are ''Hearing'' and ''Vision'' related to effective ''Communication''?
To maximally communicate, you need to hear from both ears (binaural hearing) and you need to use your eyes and ears together. You will not communicate well using your hearing aids alone. To facilitate optimal communication, you need to pay attention to the speaker’s gestures and facial expressions!
To maximize communication remember to watch the person speaking, reduce the distance between the speaker and the listener, reduce or eliminate background noise and use good lighting. If someone is speaking to you from across the room while the TV is on and while you’re doing the dishes, it will be very difficult to adequately communicate, despite fantastic hearing aids!