Congratulations! You’ve taken the leap and purchased your first pair of hearing aids with the help of the Dr. Stella Fulman or Dr. Zhanneta Shapiro at Audiology Island.
Patients who use their hearing aids daily discover improvements in all aspects of their lives.
Give yourself a true pat on the back. Fewer than one in three people with correctable hearing loss use a hearing aid. There is also typically a multi-year delay between the time someone is first fitted for hearing aids and when they decide to begin wearing them.
You’re already one step ahead of the crowd!
Take that, hearing loss!
The most common issue for new hearing aid users is simply getting used to them.
Here are some suggestions to incorporate your hearing devices into your daily, active lifestyle.
Be patient, it takes time.
Hearing devices open the doors so you can re-enter your life. But it takes time for you to become accustomed to the sensation of a new ‘something’ in your ear.
Begin by gradually increase the length of time that you wear your hearing devices each day. Rather than committing to the Boston Marathon, start with a 5K run. Wear your hearing instruments for just an hour or two a day, then increase that time as you adapt.
Start with less challenging environments
Most hearing devices today come equipped with a range of sophisticated advanced settings. But master the basics first, especially if you have been affected with hearing loss for a long time without treatment. This sudden symphony of noise can be quite an assault on your senses.
Begin by wearing your hearing aids just around your house, or if your neighborhood is quiet, in the yard, or on a walk around the block. Once this becomes second nature for you, step out a bit and begin wearing your hearing aids out in public. Perhaps you start at less boisterous places such as the library or grocery store and work up to lively restaurants and theatres.
Put your hearing devices in at the same time each day
Most people put their hearing instruments in first thing in the morning. And why not? The swoosh of the newspaper and the drip of the coffee are cheerful ways to welcome the day.
Regardless of your preference, find a time that works for you, and make it a habit.
Always store your hearing devices in the same place
It’s easy to lose essential items – glasses, car keys, spouse—our hearing devices are no different, so store your hearing instruments in the same place every night. The bathroom cabinet near your toothbrush or the nightstand next to your alarm clock may be convenient and safe storage spots. This helps you avoid sending out a search party twenty minutes before an important event.
Three Key Steps to Successful Hearing Device Use
- Set Realistic Expectations
- Your hearing loss has been gradual; acclimating to your new and improved sense of hearing will take some time. The adjustment period may be tiresome, just like when you restart an exercise routine. Your muscles may protest in the beginning but as they flex and grow, the benefits are worth the initial discomfort.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude
- Admitting and accepting your permanent hearing loss was the first step. Appreciating the audiologists and the technology to fit you with the latest hearing device is the second. Finally, make a commitment to learn how to use your device and to notice the positive transformations that occur in your life because of your decisions.
- Keep Practicing
- The transition back into the hearing world can take weeks to months before you’re back in the fast lane. Books on tape are a great way to experiment with your new tools.
For more information on selecting or caring for your hearing aids, contact Dr. Stella Fulman or Dr. Zhanneta Shapiro at Audiology Island.
Professionals with an ear and a heart for your hearing health.
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]