If you’ve never worn hearing aids before, there can be a significant learning curve. Most audiologists will assure you that it won’t take more than a few weeks – or, at most, a month – to adjust to them physically and mentally. The more you learn right away what to expect and how to live with your new hearing aid, the less rocky that learning curve will be. Here are a few important first steps if you’re a first-time hearing aid wearer.
1. Learn how to use and care for it before you leave the office
It might seem embarrassing or awkward to have a professional watching you flounder around with assembling, cleaning and using your new hearing aid, but it’s good to have someone present who knows what they’re doing. By watching you, the audiologist can correct any mistakes you’re making and give you tips to streamline the process.
2. Learn how to adjust the settings and program it
If you’re technologically challenged, new models of hearing aids with advanced settings might be confusing or intimidating. Before you leave the office, run through all the settings and make sure you know what they all do and where they’re located. If the specialist is going too fast, tell them to slow down or repeat steps you missed. The last thing you want is to go home confused about how to use something that’s vital to your ability to hear.
3. Test your ability to adjust it with a health professional is present
It’s also important not to simply watch someone else run through the settings, but to physical go through the process yourself. Since you’ll frequently need to adjust volume and other settings when you move from one environment to another, walk around the office and even outside to see how it affects your hearing and make sure you know how to adjust the hearing aid accordingly.
4. Write down or ask for simple instructions on caring for and adjust your hearing aid
Although you should be receiving plenty of documentation with your hearing aid, make sure you can understand it. If it works better for you, bring a notepad and jot down your own notes in your own terminology so there won’t be any confusion later if you forget how to do something.
Getting used to a hearing aid takes time, but starting off with the right knowledge base and taking proactive ownership of your new hearing ally will make al the difference.