What to Expect from Your Hearing Aids

The Adjustment Period

It's important to prepare for what you can expect from your new hearing aids and the period of adjustment.

You’ve made the decision to treat your hearing loss, you have seen a hearing professional, and you are now the owner of brand new hearing aids customized and programmed just for you. Congratulations! Now, you need to prepare for what to expect from your new hearing aids and the period of adjustment.

Some people are able to adapt to their hearing aids right away, but most people should expect a natural adjustment period of up to four months to get used to their hearing aids. While it’s exciting to be able to hear sounds again that you might not have heard for some time, it can also be jarring for your brain to sort through all the new sounds and re-learn which ones to prioritize and which ones to move to the background. It can also take time to get used to the sound of your own voice, which may seem different or louder when amplified by hearing aids.

A common strategy during the hearing aid adjustment period is to start by wearing the hearing aids for just an hour at a time. You can try this for several times a day in different listening situations. Be sure to take regular breaks to give yourself processing time. In the early days of wearing your hearing aids outside your home, begin by going to quieter public places, like a bank or library, and wait to join noisier, more crowded environments until you feel more comfortable.

The most important thing to keep in mind while adjusting to your hearing aids is that your expectations should be realistic. Remember that hearing aids amplify sound, but cannot restore lost hearing to normal, and do not provide perfect hearing in all situations. Do not forget that in noisy environments, like restaurants or parties, even those without hearing loss cannot always hear everything that is said. You may still need to learn and use additional listening and conversation strategies in order to be able to communicate effectively. However, what you can and should expect from your hearing aids is a demonstrable improvement in understanding speech and sounds in listening situations that are important to you. If you are not experiencing this after a reasonable adjustment period, talk to your hearing care professional.