Should you wear your hearing aids all the time?
At Beckenham Hearing, we are often asked whether hearing aids should be worn all the time, and the answer is yes and no…
Let us explain. The more you wear your hearing aids, the quicker you will become accustomed to them and the more you will get out of them. However, adjusting to hearing aids can take time, especially if you have been suffering from an untreated hearing loss for many years, so first time hearing aid wearers may benefit from taking it slowly to start off with, but once you have become accustomed to your hearing aids, there is no reason why you shouldn’t wear them all day. You may find it useful to take some ‘hearing aid free’ time each day to give your ears time to rest. You take your hearing aids out to sleep so you can clean and have time to dry or charge overnight. (For 24/7 hearing aids please see our page about Phonak Lyric our invisible extended wear hearing aids).
Most people get acclimatised to wearing hearing aids within six to eight weeks. Sometimes the process can a bit longer, especially if the hearing loss has gone unnoticed for a long time, so be patient and go at a pace which suits you.
Adjusting to hearing aids – our advice for success
Here are our top tips to help you make an easy transition into the world of hearing well:
The cacophony of new sounds you will experience with hearing aids may feel a little overwhelming – try wearing them for just short periods of time (1-2 hours) at first, in situations with few people and not too much noise. Gradually you can then start using them for longer periods of time and in noisier environments.
Wear your hearing aids every day
Wearing your devices every day, in many varied situations, gives your brain and ears the opportunity to adjust to the new sounds and sensations and gives you a better idea of how your hearing aids perform in different environments. The sooner your hearing aids become integrated into your day to day life, the sooner you can start enjoying all the sounds that make up the day.
Use your Hearing Health Care Professional
Hearing loss varies from one individual to another, and fine-tuning of the hearing aid by your HCP can be of crucial importance to getting your hearing aids to perform optimally for you. It is important that you make use of your appointments with us – be as honest and specific as you can about your experiences so we can keep your hearing aids performing optimally for you.
Another part of our role is to provide emotional support and to guide and counsel you on your journey, so do not be afraid to talk to your audiologist if you are struggling to adjust to your hearing aids.
Before your next consultation, it is important you carefully consider how your new hearing aids are suiting you. Make a note of situations wherein e.g. the devices were not loud enough when at your local coffee shop. Try to describe your experiences in a detailed manner, so we have something to go on when we meet again.
Managing your Expectations
Most users will hear significantly better with well-functioning hearing aids, making communication easier and increasing one’s quality of life. However, your hearing aids will not restore your hearing completely to normal – even the best hearing aids can only improve how you hear with your residual level of hearing.
Initially, the sound reproduced by hearing aids may be perceived as unnatural, tinny, sharp and it may be difficult to recognise and distinguish between various sounds which can become tiring and overwhelming. However, in six months’ time, you will benefit from all your hard work and will not look back.
Remember slight discomfort is normal
It is not uncommon to feel a sensation of pressure and a little soreness in your ear for the first few days. If this sensation does not disappear within a week – or if you feel pain in your ear – the ear-mould/in-the-ear hearing aid is probably not fitting properly. In rare cases, an itching or burning sensation or allergy can occur in the ear. If this does not disappear within a couple of weeks, you should consult an ENT doctor.
Allow family and friends to help
Your family and friends will be able to help you identify whether your hearing aids are amplifying sounds correctly and help you find the right volume for your own voice, as you try to become accustomed to the slightly unnatural sound.
Your family and friends can also provide emotional support – life with your new hearing aids will be a rollercoaster of emotions – use your loved ones for support to help you get through the difficult times and share with you the great times.