How to Get Used to Hearing Aids


Senior couple happy becasue they saved money buying used hearing aids.

Adapting to hearing aids is really adapting to two new sensations: the physical sensation of having the aid in your ear canal and your brain’s reaction to processing sound after a long period of diminished hearing. Your initial experience with new hearing aids might be that they are too loud or high pitched as they are now amplifying sound your brain has been straining to hear. On average, people endure hearing loss for years before trying hearing aids, so this didn’t happen overnight.

The good news is the adjustment period is relatively short and can be made easier with attention to a few key steps.

  1. Understand Your Expectations. You might find your first experience with hearing aids uncomfortable. That’s totally normal and, yes, it’s totally worth it. Your hearing is directly linked to your overall emotional, mental, and physical health, and chances are you’ve been living with hearing loss longer than you realize. You’ll find that with improved hearing, your overall health will improve.
  2. Ensure a Comfortable Fit. Your hearing specialist will want you to come in for a fitting of your new hearing aids. Clear your schedule and your mind so you can get the most out of your fitting. It is a critical first step in improving your hearing. Pay attention to how the device feels in and around your ears. If the initial sound is uncomfortably loud, your hearing specialist can set the amplification low and gradually increase it over time. Practice removing and replacing the aid in your ear during your fitting.
  3. Adapt to a New (and Better) Normal. The more you wear your hearing aids, the faster and better your brain will adapt to them. However, you will want to start out slowly in quiet areas like your home and work your way up to more active venues like a restaurant with loud and competing sounds. Go back to your hearing specialist for adjustments if you hear an echo, feedback, or buzzing when using a cell phone.
  4. Practice Using Your Hearing Aid. When you start using hearing aids and are suddenly able to hear sounds and frequencies you weren’t able to hear before, your brain needs to relearn how to discern those noises and translate them into words. Wearing your hearing aids as much as possible will help, but there are exercises you can do to help as well. (We suggest the noise filtering and sound location exercises found at the bottom of this resource on hearing loss.) Try also listening to books on tape while reading along with the text. This will help your brain associate the sounds with words.

What’s most important is that you don’t give up on wearing your hearing aids. It’s tempting to put them aside, but remember that it’s your overall health that’s at stake–not just whether or not you can hear your friends in noisy restaurants. Like hypertension or diabetes, hearing loss will gradually erode your health if left untreated. With treatment, however, it is a powerful ally in combating serious diseases such as high blood pressure and dementia.

Partner with your hearing specialist while you make the adjustment to hearing aids, and you’ll be one step ahead in maintaining your wellness.

Want more information?

Checkout these related articles

Man happy for finding the ride hearing aid.
Kevin St. Clergy
| October 18, 2021

Study Reveals How to Get the Most Out of Hearing Aids

Surprising research indicates the one thing hearing-aid wearers can do to improve how well they hear plus the optimal environment for hearing aids. […]

Read More…

Picture of a seniors during a noisy meal
Kevin St. Clergy
| October 10, 2021

How to Get Through Big Meals that Cause Big Noise

People with hearing loss often struggle through big family gatherings. There are several steps you can take to make your meal more enjoyable. […]

Read More…

Son talking to father about getting hearing aids.
Kevin St. Clergy
| September 15, 2021

Breaking It to a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids

Hearing loss affects millions of Americans, but many do not admit they need help. Learn how to tell someone that they need hearing aids. […]

Read More…

Find A Hearing Expert Near You Today

Discover everything you need to know about hearing loss and hearing aids and find top local hearing experts.

Find An Expert