Learning How to Use Your Hearing Aid

Getting used to using a hearing aid is like getting used to any new tool. It will take a little time, patience, and practice to learn how to use your hearing aid.

A number of strategies will help. The first is to wear your hearing aid most of the time during the day. Like any tool, the more you use it the sooner it will become natural and incorporated into your innate sense of hearing.

Imagine a musician whose instrument seems to be an extension of their body, something that they apparently use effortlessly. That didn’t just happen. They practiced with their instrument for countless hours, building up muscle memory and eventually a subconscious connection with the device. The more you use your hearing aid, the sooner that will happen.

It’s good to start by using your hearing aid in quieter situations, in conversations with one other person. At first, sounds will seem louder and that can be disorientating. By easing into using a hearing aid, the initial shock will be less and you’ll be more motivated to continue using it. Listening to the radio or TV will help too, especially to news or sports commentators, since they are professional speakers and therefore speak with better diction. This will cut down on the possibility of having to unduly concentrate on trying to understand mumbling or slurred speech, which will only add to the frustration level as you transition into using your hearing aid.

Eventually, you can build up to using your hearing aid in noisier environments, though it’s best to start with a simpler locale. Not a crowded room with a myriad of conversations going on, but rather something more akin to “white noise,” like near a busy road or railroad. This will allow you time to adjust to a higher volume environment.

Phones are their own learning experience. It will take a little experimentation to position the phone’s receiver in such a way that it’s near enough to the hearing aid’s microphone. Certain angles can cause a whistling, which is just feedback as sound waves bounce back out of your ear and are picked up again by your hearing aid’s microphone.

Once you get used to having a hearing aid, it’s easy to forget that it is actually a fairly complicated piece of machinery, a real marvel of the modern age. Part of learning how to use a hearing aid is learning how to care for it. This includes keeping your hearing aid away from heat and moisture, cleaning it as instructed, not using hair care products while wearing your hearing aid, turning it off when not in use, keeping the batteries fresh, and keeping it away from children and pets.

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