New Hearing Aids: Your First Week

Placing new hearing devices into your ears can be more of a surprise than you might expect. Because you're so eager to better hear what's going on around you, you may find wearing hearing aids more frustrating than you thought it would be. To make hearing with your new devices easier, work on the following tasks in the first week.

Read to Yourself

Contrary to what you might think, it may be a good idea to be alone for much of the time in your first week as you get used to the new devices. Your own voice might sound odd to you, and you may not be quite used to different sounds. Reading newspapers and books to yourself can help you become comfortable with different sounds in your ears, but more than that you can start the work of concentrating on what you're hearing. People without hearing loss can easily focus on certain sounds in crowded places, but you might have lost some of that ability; you may think you're hearing "too much" at a time if you head to a packed restaurant and expect to have a conversation; staying at home and listening to your own voice can prepare you slowly for those experiences.

Watching with Captions

You might have thought your days of closed-captioning were over once you inserted your hearing aids. However, continuing to watch television with closed-captioning will allow you to help yourself connect various sounds with various words and make your hearing ability better.

Resisting Excessive Volume

In your excitement to hear sounds for the first time in a while, you may want to increase the volume of your aids as high as it can go. After all, if you've not been able to hear well for some time, you're not quite sure what "normal" volume is. However, turning volume up too much can be a mistake because volume that is too high may be uncomfortable to listen to. What's worse, excessive volume may make your natural hearing even worse as it can negatively affect your eardrums.

So how do you know what "normal" should sound like? One way you can get some idea of the proper volume level is to ask someone to set your radio or television to what they consider to be "normal". You may want to ask more than one person. You can then set the volume on your aids accordingly.

Using these tips can slowly help you use your hearing aids so you're comfortable. Working with your audiologist along the way can also provide you with more guidance. For more information, see a website such as