Is There an Adjustment Period for Hearing Aids?
Millions of people are diagnosed with hearing loss every year, and it’s not only the elderly that experience hearing loss. 15% of the adult population report hearing loss in some shape or form while children can experience the issues too. Regardless of individual backgrounds, hearing aids are the most common form of condition management by far.
The transition into wearing hearing aids isn’t one that will go unnoticed. In turn, the short answer to the title question is ‘yes.’ Most people will experience a period of adjustment, whether it’s their first pair of hearing aids or an upgrade from an outdated solution.
Why do most users experience an adjustment period?
When people experience hearing loss, it is usually a degenerative condition that worsens on a gradual basis. Consequently, then, the vast majority do not even notice the symptoms of hearing loss and only discover their condition after visiting an audiologist.
While the development of hearing loss is likely to be gradual, the impact gained from using hearing aids can completely transform your hearing profile in an instant. While it might not correct your hearing to perfect health, the sudden increase in volume and pitch detection is a big deal. In many cases, it can feel a little overwhelming.
In addition to the performance-related changes, wearing hearing aids means literally putting a device on or in your ear for hours at a time. The weight and general feel of hearing aids can take a little getting used to. The level of change to the natural situation will vary depending on the type (behind the ear, in the ear, in the canal) of hearing aid, as well as the exact brand and model.
Likewise, different individuals will respond to hearing aids in varying manners due to a range of contributing factors, including the severity of hearing loss experienced, how long they have experienced hearing loss, and whether they are used to wearing other devices such as headphones. Nonetheless, most hearing aid users will experience a short period of adjustment.
How long does the hearing aids adjustment period last?
Everybody is different, and all of the above features will influence the duration of the adjustment period. Other factors can include what features are included on the hearing aid devices and whether they also experience other ear health issues such as tinnitus.
Some users may take to their hearing aids immediately. As a general rule of thumb, though, it should take no longer than two weeks for users to acclimatize to their hearing aid devices. Moreover, there should be a gradual but noticeable improvement over the course of the fortnight.
How to handle the adjustment period in style
An audiologist can support you through every aspect of hearing health and wearing hearing aids. The transitional phase of acclimatizing to hearing aids isn’t any different. Most importantly, the audiologist utilizes the fittings appointment to ensure that the devices are calibrated and synced to meet your individual requirements.
Their support doesn’t end there. The audiologist can teach you the various tricks needed to enjoy your hearing aids from day one while also making the adjustment period smoother and faster, enabling you to unlock the full rewards of hearing aids in style. Some of the most significant steps include;
- Only wearing the hearing aids for an hour at a time for the first 48 hours before slowly increasing the duration until you are ready to wear them for an entire day,
- Read a book or magazine aloud to give yourself a chance to familiarize yourself with the sound of your own voice.
- Consider reading a book while listening to the audiobook, or singing along to your favorite songs, to help the brain associate sounds and speech.
- Leave the volume alone, at least for the first few days as jumping up and down between sound levels will further confuse the brain.
- Ask your spouse, a relative, or friend for support by completing one-on-one conversations around the home.
- Avoid public places where possible for the first few days as the background sounds could be a little overwhelming.
Ultimately, a little patience will go a long way and will see you through the transitional phase with the very best results.
What if the problems persist?
If the hearing aids are uncomfortable or cause hearing issues after two weeks, they may require refitting or calibrating. In some cases, it may be necessary to look at different hearing aids. Thankfully, an audiologist can help you find the perfect answer to those issues.
If you are unhappy with the hearing aids after two weeks or wish to learn more about the devices in general, the Peninsula Hearing team can help. Give us a call at 360-697-3061 (Poulsbo) or 360-379-5458 (Port Townsend) for further information.