Getting new hearing aids is one of the best investments you can make. The first weeks of getting used to better hearing are exciting and full of possibilities. At this point, you’ve already had a chance to experience (or reexperience) some amazing sounds, like the sound of your loved ones’ voices, your OWN voice, and different sounds in nature.
If you’ve followed our suggested “slow and steady” approach, you’re well on your way to enjoying an even bigger range of sounds. Which leads us to our next point. Now that you’ve been wearing your hearing aids for a few weeks and have had some time to get used to both your devices and the sounds around you, it’s time to try some more challenging activities to really maximize the benefits of your hearing aids.
Let’s explore some of the new and exciting experiences you can take part in that will further help you to adjust to your hearing aids and enjoy a life of better hearing.
Introduce Multiple Sounds at Once
When you first got your hearing aids, we recommended taking the “slow and steady” approach so your brain and body could get used to your devices as smoothly as possible. One of those approaches was to hone in on sounds on an individual basis so you wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. You had the chance to learn (or relearn) how to associate sound direction and from whom it was coming. Now you’re ready to take it to the next level and introduce multiple sounds at once!
A great way to start introducing multiple sounds is by inviting one person over to your home and having a conversation with them while the TV is on. You’ve already tried associating another person’s nonverbal cues—like the movement of their mouths, facial expressions, and body language—with their voice, and now it’s time to practice pinpointing those sounds without the visual help. Here’s how: Close your eyes and try to separate the sounds on the television program from the voice of your loved one. Focus on how loud the sounds are, the direction the sounds are coming from, and the conversations themselves.
Once you’re able to make the distinction, challenge yourself further by having more than one person in the room with the TV on. Keep repeating this activity until you are able to differentiate all the voices that are coming from the people around you from those coming from the television.
Enjoy Louder Activities
For the first few weeks after getting new hearing aids, we recommended trying quieter activities because louder sounds can startle and overwhelm you. Guess what? The wait is over! Now you can start enjoying the wider range of activities that you’ve been looking forward to, like concerts and gatherings with a larger number of people in public. Now you can enjoy a nice meal at a crowded restaurant without worrying about where you’re going to sit, take a walk along a busy street and listen to the sounds of the city, or go to a live sporting event. The possibilities are endless!
Plus, the same way you can learn how to differentiate between TV noises and the voices of those around you, now you can try tuning out live background noises from the voices of your loved ones. The goal is to get to the point where you can do this effortlessly in both quiet and loud settings, and you are ready to start mastering this!
Better hearing is not a race, it’s a journey—one that’s filled with many adventures along the way. As you introduce more challenging and complex sounds, remember to listen to your body. If at any point you feel overwhelmed, take a break and start anew the next day. The more you wear your hearing aids and the more you become attuned with your body’s own cues, the smoother the journey will be.
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