It’s important to set reasonable expectations for new hearing aids — and for yourself — so you don’t get overwhelmed by the sounds you couldn’t hear before. Many first-time hearing aid wearers expect their hearing to return to “normal,” however, nothing can reproduce perfect or “normal” hearing. Realistically, hearing aids will improve your hearing and listening abilities by modifying the sounds around you.

Better hearing isn’t just about amplifying volume; it’s about your ear’s ability to hear sounds and your brain’s ability to process and comprehend those sounds. Most hearing aids use Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Digital hearing aids help the user distinguish between speech and non-speech sounds. By identifying and lowering the volume of background noise, the listener can hear voice patterns more clearly. The better the hearing aid technology, the more secondary noise filtered out. This helps keep you engaged in and attuned to conversations, even in noisy situations.

Learning to Hear Again

As hearing loss usually occurs over time, many people are unaware of the background sounds they can no longer hear. When you first start wearing hearing aids, you may feel overwhelmed by what you can suddenly hear again.

Don’t get frustrated! Give yourself time to adjust to those new sounds. As the brain learns to interpret sounds correctly again, you should practice concentrating on sounds or voices most important to you.

You will need to meet with your hearing health expert several times during the initial adjustment period. Your hearing specialist needs to monitor your progress and adjust the controls of your hearing aid(s), as needed. These follow-up visits are crucial to your success with learning to hear again.