Congratulations on your decision to start wearing hearing aids! For those of us with hearing loss, hearing aids are the best thing we can do to maintain our physical and mental health, social connections, and general well-being.
Hearing aids are generally easy to use, and with a little time, they should fit easily into your lifestyle. When asked after one year, 95% of people with hearing aids say they are glad they got them.
Still, as with anything new we bring into our lives, there are likely some questions you will have about your new hearing aids. Let’s take a look at some of the common questions that new wearers have. And remember, if you can’t easily find the answers to your questions, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with your hearing care provider!
How Long Will It Take To Get Used To Wearing My Hearing Aids?
The answer to this question is different for everyone. If you get regular hearing tests and start wearing hearing aids as soon as they are recommended by your hearing care provider, you will likely have a much easier time adjusting than if you have been living with hearing loss for a long time. Some people seem to get used to their hearing aids right away, while others may need a month to feel really comfortable with them.
If you are wearing hearing aids for the first time and have moderate to severe hearing loss, it may take quite a while to get used to them. Changes occur in our brains when hearing loss goes untreated for a long time, so you will need some time for your brain to get used to hearing certain sounds again. You may wish to enroll in training courses that will help you relearn to comprehend and focus on speech.
Some people with hearing loss find it annoying to once again hear the fridge buzzing, feet shuffling on the floor, or any number of other undesirable sounds they’re no longer accustomed to hearing. But remember: for many years, you heard all of these sounds without being bothered by them. Once you’ve grown accustomed to wearing your hearing aids regularly, your brain will start to ignore these sounds once again.
If you are having a hard time adjusting to your hearing aids after a few weeks, reach out to your hearing care provider for assistance.
How Often Should I Wear My Hearing Aids?
Your hearing care provider might start by recommending a period of intermittent wear, but once you are accustomed to them you should wear them all day, unless you are swimming, showering, or sleeping. The more you wear your hearing aids, the more they do for you, and the more adjusted to them you will be. It can be disorienting to switch back and forth between wearing and not wearing them, so it’s best to take advantage of what your hearing aids can do for you all day long.
How Much Maintenance Will My Hearing Aids Need?
Some people’s hearing aids will require more maintenance than others. This is the nature of the beast when it comes to the differences in our body chemistry, earwax types, and activity levels. Your hearing care provider will be able to help you decide which maintenance practices should be followed for your specific situation.
In general, we should all wipe our hearing aids with a clean, dry cloth when we take them out at the end of the day. If your hearing aids use disposable batteries, leave the battery compartments open overnight to allow them to dry out. Moisture is the #1 enemy of hearing aids, so always try to avoid moisture or situations where moisture will condense onto your hearing aids. A good rule of thumb is to leave your hearing aids outside the bathroom for your morning and evening routines to help them avoid moisture, hairspray, and other cosmetics.
How Long Will My Hearing Aids Last?
Most people replace their hearing aids every 4-5 years. This is not necessarily due to them failing but at this point the technology of hearing aids has usually advanced enough that a new set will help someone hear significantly better. Outside of that the longevity of a hearing aid will depend on the person wearing it. Even the climate you live in will influence their longevity. Most out-of-warranty repairs (60%) are due to moisture-related issues, so the best way to maximize the longevity of our hearing aids is to keep them as dry as possible.