Tips for Adjusting to New Hearing Aids


Once hearing loss becomes an issue—as it will for nearly half of us at some point in our lives—getting hearing aids is the best thing we can do to maintain our physical health and mental well-being. If you’ve taken the steps to get a set of hearing aids, good for you! The world of sound welcomes you back!


When asked after one year, 95% of people who get hearing aids say they’re glad they did. While it probably won’t take a full year for you to adjust to your new hearing aids, there is usually a period for new wearers when hearing aids may be uncomfortable, or even sometimes downright annoying! Usually, within a month or so, people adjust to their hearing aids and begin to appreciate everything they do to help facilitate communication and allow us to feel more confident and independent.


While your hearing care provider should be available to field questions and help you deal with any problems you have with your new hearing aids, there are a few things to keep in mind as you start to get acquainted with your new aids.

They Won’t Sound “Normal” Right Away

This may be obvious when we talk about an adjustment period, but most people will not automatically feel comfortable with the way hearing aids sound. While there are some exceptions, in general, the longer you’ve lived with untreated hearing loss, the more time it will take for you to get used to your new hearing aids.


The earlier we start treating hearing loss with hearing aids, the less radical the change will be when we start wearing them. Over time, our brains get used to not hearing as much. When the change is more significant from untreated hearing loss to wearing hearing aids, our brains have a lot of work to do to catch up. It may be tiring, and even annoying.


A lot of the sounds we weren’t hearing weren’t exactly missed. There are plenty of sounds in the average household that we learn to tune out—like feet shuffling on the floor, clocks ticking, fridges buzzing, other people chewing… you get the idea. Wearing hearing aids doesn’t only boost the volume of the sounds we want to hear, but all this other stuff, as well. Over time, your brain will learn once again to differentiate between the sounds you want to pay attention to and those you don’t, but it can only learn if you wear your hearing aids routinely.

They May Need Adjustment

Your adjustment to your hearing aids may be a two-way street. While you have some work to do getting used to the way they make the world sound, you also might need an adjustment if certain sounds are really rubbing you the wrong way. If speech sounds unnatural or you feel like certain frequencies are driving you crazy all day, an adjustment may be in order.


It’s also worth noting that you should never experience pain or any “side effects” of wearing your hearing aids. If any sounds are painful, you should notify your hearing care provider immediately and ask for an adjustment. Hearing aids are meant to amplify sound safely so as not to cause any further hearing loss from dangerous sound level exposure. If it seems like things are way too loud, an adjustment is in order.


Similarly, if your hearing aids are “whistling” a lot, or feeding back, it could be that an earmold doesn’t fit properly. This can also happen if you lose or gain a lot of weight rapidly.


Always consult your hearing care provider right away if something seems wrong with the way your hearing aids are working.

Talk to People About Your Hearing Aids

If you have friends or loved ones who already wear hearing aids, talk to them about their experience. They’ll be able to help you determine what is a normal part of adjusting to hearing aids, and what might be a problem that needs attention from your hearing care provider.


It’s also a good idea to check in periodically with your hearing care provider. It may be helpful to keep a list of minor concerns so you make sure to address them all when you talk to them. It’s very easy to forget about recurring problems when we’re not actually experiencing them at the moment!


Congratulations on the beginning of your journey with hearing care!