When you’re first getting accustomed to using new hearing aids, it can be very difficult to adjust to the new sounds and sensations. About 25 percent of people with new hearing aids end up never wearing them because they find the aids uncomfortable and strange at first. But there are many tricks that you can use to make your hearing aids work better for you and make the transition easier.

A key part of getting used to your hearing aids is to go slow. Instead of trying to transition straight into wearing your aids all the time, you should start out with a few hours at a time in quiet, controlled environments. From there you can learn your boundaries and understand what aspects of the hearing aids need to be fixed.

During these first few days or weeks when you’re trying out your aids in new settings, try to notice any sounds that seem off to you. Although your own voice will seem strange simply because of how the hearing aids work, you can fix this by reading aloud to yourself while wearing your hearing aids. Uncomfortably loud noises, however, are not something that you should try to get used to. The purpose of the aid is to enhance soft sounds, but it shouldn’t raise loud noises to uncomfortable levels. If you experience this, you should take it back to the audiologist who will adjust the volume to better suit you. Another problem that your audiologist can fix is strange whistling caused by the hearing aid mold not fitting properly in your ear.

Other helpful resources, such as online training programs, can make it much easier to get used to wearing your hearing aids and learning what to know about hearing aids. LACE, My Quips, any many other programs are designed specifically to help you understand speech despite background noise and improve listening skills. If you follow these tips and use all of the resources around you, you’ll be able to benefit from your hearing aids in the way that they were intended to.

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