4 Ways to Train Your Ears to Hear Again
Wearing hearing aids isn’t like putting on your first pair of glasses. The world won’t snap right into focus. In fact, for most people it takes a few days to a few weeks before they get used to them. Don’t give up! A richer, fuller experience awaits if you’ll practice the 4 P’s to success!
When you put hearing aids into your ears for the first time, some of the things you hear may not sound the way you remember them or may seem completely foreign. All the new sounds may even be overwhelming. This is completely normal. You haven’t heard everything for a long time and your brain has forgotten how some things are supposed to sound. Getting used to the feel of hearing aids in your ears can take time as well. That’s normal too. Be patient and give yourself time to get used to the feel of hearing aids in your ears. Before long you won’t even notice they’re there. Wear your hearing aids every day for four to six weeks at a minimum. This will give your body and mind enough experience to adjust to a new way of hearing.
One of the best ways to help your ears and brain get used to hearing all the sounds around you again is to wear your new hearing aids for at least 8 hours a day. Wearing them for just a couple of hours or infrequently—like only when you go out—could slow your progress or even prevent your brain from fully adapting to your new hearing aids. Be persistent in wearing them for most of the day, most of the time. Then, if you’re still having trouble after wearing them for two weeks, visit your provider and share what you are experiencing. Your provider can then make adjustments based on your feedback. It’s common to need an adjustment, but it will be much easier for your provider to know what to change if you have been wearing them consistently for at least 8 hours a day. Here’s a good way to test your progress:
- Wear them for at least 8 hours a day for two weeks
- Then do a routine activity, like watching TV, without them
- You’ll be amazed at the difference!
If you want the best results, wearing hearing aids is just like any other activity. Practice makes perfect! You’ll adapt to your new hearing aids more quickly if you try them in many different situations. It will also help you identify specific problems that may require an adjustment, such as the volume being too soft for sounds at certain frequencies. Spend time with your friends or family doing activities that allow you to experience hearing with your new hearing aids in different settings.
- Go for a walk together to try them outdoors
- Sit in a quiet space together
- Have a family party or go out to dinner together
You should also practice wearing them in challenging environments. Visit a noisy place like a public gathering or a busy restaurant. It’s a great way to put your new hearing to the test. Don’t be alarmed if you can’t hear everything; these environments can be difficult for everyone. Instead, ask someone with normal hearing if they are having trouble too; they probably are. Aural rehabilitation programs are another way to accelerate your progress. Rehabilitation training such as clEAR and LACE can dramatically reduce the effort needed to listen and understand when people are speaking to you.
Last but not least, a positive attitude can make all the difference. Wearing hearing aids may not be easy at first, but if you stick with it you’ll see the benefits before long. Remember, you have a team of people rooting for you!
- Your family: ask for their help and encouragement as you practice wearing your hearing aids in new situations; they’ll be the first to notice the improvement
- Your provider: most people need additional adjustments to their hearing aids before they get it right; take advantage of this valuable resource
- TruHearing: explore our User Portal for more tips and advice that can help you succeed with your new hearing aids
Most of all, stick with it! Follow the 4 P’s, and you will significantly increase your chances for success.
Communication Tips from Your Peers
Even with the help of hearing aids, not everyone can hear perfectly. Here’s great advice from other hearing aid wearers on how they have improved their ability to communicate with their family and friends.
“I make sure my husband always looks at me when talking to me. I also mention the fact that I use a hearing aid to other people, so they know how to communicate with me.” – Mara LaBurt, Chapel Hill, NC
“I try to visit one-on-one rather than in groups and look for quiet places when possible. I’m starting a program called Lace Listening to train my attention. I also pay attention to body language.” – Sharrel Boike, Bloomington, IN
“I change settings on my hearing aids—for crowds, for normal conversations, or for listening to music. I find this simple, easy, and effective.” – Theodore Jacus, Roselle, IL
“I try to focus on the person I am speaking with by facing them, so that I can use both my hearing aids and lip reading to assist me in deciphering what is being said.” – Nancy Adler, Lexington, MA
“My family and friends are all aware I wear hearing aids. I’ve learned that sometimes if I cannot hear things, I will laugh and say, ‘Hold on a sec,’ and adjust my hearing aids, and they laugh with me. Wearing hearing aids isn’t embarrassing—constantly saying ‘what’ is.” – Sonni Joyner, Davie, FL