Using hearing aids for the first time can feel overwhelming. This is because you likely have already gotten very used to not hearing as much sounds as compared to when you're using a pair of hearing aids now.
Environmental sounds you usually wouldn't hear like traffic, birds chirping or even rustling of plastic bags sound a lot louder than usual. Crowded places also suddenly feel much louder all of a sudden and it's not comfortable.
You may be tempted to take off your hearing aids as an attempt to get relief from these uncomfortable experiences, but the benefits of your hearing aids outweigh your decision to remove your hearing aids.
In this blog, we'll discuss the benefits of wearing hearing aids, as well as tips on how to cope with excessively loud noises as a new hearing aid user, regardless of whether or not you have mild to moderate hearing loss or profound hearing loss.
Why does Hearing Aids matter for You
At first glance, hearing aids simply help you hear better. But it doesn't end there. If you choose not to wear your hearing aids consistently, you run the risk of:
- Social isolation
Because you can't hear well and pick up what others are saying, you usually have to ask others to repeat what they said, and that makes it harder for them to have engaging conversations with you. Overtime, it could even worsen to the point where people start speaking to you less because it's less enjoyable.
You might also have experienced this to a certain degree before you got your pair of hearing aids. If you choose not to wear your hearing aids, history might repeat itself.
- Worse memory and cognitive function
When you can't hear clearly, you have to pay more attention and focus on the sounds you're trying to hear. This worsens one's capacity for cognitive functions, which includes memory.
- Increased dementia risk
Hearing loss, coupled with the increased likelihood of social isolation are known to increase the risk of dementia.
Tips on Dealing With Background Noise
Since you or your loved ones bought you hearing aids in the first place so that you can hear better, not wearing them means that you're not any different than before you got your hearing aids. Hearing aids have more pros than cons. So we're here to offer you some tips on how to deal with background noise when wearing your hearing aids as a new user.
- Get it adjusted
Most hearing aids today can be adjusted and yours is currently over-amplifying sounds to a point where it's overwhelming. This could include high frequency sounds, which is much more annoying than lower frequency sounds.
Check with your hearing aids provider whether or not yours can be adjusted and have your pair emit a slightly lower volume than it's currently set to. With just a slight adjustment, background noise should not sound as bad to you, and at the same time your hearing aids can still help you hear the sounds that you need to.
If you're using a higher-end pair of hearing aids, you may also adjust the sound volume on your own or with the help from your loved ones, using an application that's should have been connected to your hearing aids by your hearing aid provider. Of course, if you're unsure on how to do this, it's best to consult your hearing aid provider so you don't run the risk of making things worse.
- Be strategic
If getting your hearing aids adjusted is not an option for you, you would have to be strategic about minimizing how much background noise can affect you. For example, if your local eatery is particularly noisy, you could choose to visit it at a time when it's less crowded and noisy, or dine at an entirely different location altogether.
Likewise, if somewhere you frequent has too much background noise that you can bear, you can choose to somewhere else that is quieter. So if your favorite reading spot is too noisy, you might just have to choose a different one.
Though you might have to change your habits and how you do certain things, if the background noise is too much to bear, you would have to make a change.
- You just have to get used to it
The truth is, hearing aids will not completely replicate the sounds that you would hear without using a pair. As such, background noises might sound louder, unnatural and more unbearable than usual.
On top of the 2 tips provided above, sometimes you just have to train your ears to be able to get used to and ignore these background noises. The fact is, some background noise (as long as it's not too loud and intrusive) goes by and we aren't even aware of it.
Similarly for hearing aid users like you, you can also get used to certain background sounds and not let it affect you too much. Since you're a new hearing aid user, it will take some time for you to get used to how sounds are like again and get used to it.
Most people who use hearing aids for the first time tend to get overwhelmed by background noises of some sort, especially when the hearing aids are not properly adjusted. This is very common considering how users have to get used to the different sound environments that they get exposed to on a daily basis. But once users get used to their hearing aids and have it adjusted to the proper volume, hearing aids will feel much more helpful than you feel in the beginning.