So I'm Getting New Hearing Aids: Now What? - Hearing and Speech Agency

So I'm Getting New Hearing Aids: Now What?

Adjusting to your new hearing aids

For most people, hearing loss occurs very gradually. The process of getting hearing aids, however, is not gradual. On average, this adjustment period can take one to two months. To make the adjustment process a little easier, start with easy situations and work your way up to more difficult listening environments.

Your own voice will sound different

Along with other peoples' voices and environmental sounds, hearing aids amplify your own voice.  Therefore, your own voice may sound different to you and may sound louder than usual. This difference is also part of the adjustment period. The more you wear your hearing aids, the more natural your voice will sound.

Have realistic expectations

Remember, in a noisy restaurant or at a party, most people, even those with normal hearing, cannot hear perfectly.  At the movies, people with normal hearing miss some dialogue. Keeping your expectations reasonable will help you from feeling disappointed. 

Always keep batteries on hand

You’ll use more than you think you will. Hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries now, too. Some

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Some communication strategies as you venture out into the world

• If you have hearing aids, wear them!
• Use visual cues—watch the speaker’s face, gestures, and body language.
• Reduce the distance between yourself and the speaker. Do not speak from one room to another, or from across the room.
• Reduce background noise, if possible. Turn off the TV, radio, or running water. Go out to eat to a quiet restaurant or during non-peak hours.
• If you didn’t understand something, let the speaker know...don’t just nod your head and agree.
• If you are joining a conversation already in progress, ask what the topic of conversation is. This will help you fill in words you don’t hear correctly.
• Ask the speaker to talk slowly. Speaking slowly leads to better pronunciation and more time to process the message.
• If you are having difficulty understanding someone, tell them what they can do to help you (e.g., slow down, look at your face, come closer).

 

Strategies for friends and family to help with the transition

• Get close to the person (no more than 8 feet away). Do not speak from another room.
• Look at the person. Do not speak with your back toward the person with hearing loss. Try to speak face-to-face at all times.
• Speak slowly and distinctly. If the person is wearing hearing aids, you do not need to raise the volume of your voice.
• Reduce background noise. Turn off the TV, radio, or running water.
• Get the person’s attention before you start speaking. Do not start speaking while he is reading, watching TV, etc.
• When asked to repeat, rephrase the message instead.
• Do not turn your face away or walk away from the person with hearing loss.

 

 

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HASAHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780