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Your New Hearing Aid: Three Phases of Adjustment

Congratulations on taking an important step toward improving your quality of life. You will likely experience a lot of different thoughts and emotions over the coming months. Here’s a little about what you can expect.

Phase One: Getting Acclimated

Climb the learning curve

A hearing aid is a technological device, just like a smartphone, computer or television. And as it is with any type of new technology, there is a learning curve. Life may feel a little overwhelming or frustrating while you get your hearing aids set up and learn how to use and adjust them properly.

What you can do

  • Educate yourself about your new hearing aids. Learn how they work, connect them to your T.V or smartphone. Download and set up the Beltone hearing apps.
  • Watch our how-to videos to see how to set things up.
  • Call your Beltone practitioner who is always ready to help! If you’re traveling or vacationing and your hearing aids need service, our Beltone patient care representatives are happy to assist you. Just call our toll-free number: 1-800-BELTONE (1-800-235-8663).

Time to adjust

It takes time to adjust to a hearing aid—both mentally and physically. At first, it may seem like you notice your hearing aids constantly. If you have chosen a custom-fit style, the sensitive skin in your ear canal might become irritated.

Or, you may experience the occlusion effect, which makes your own voice sound strange. Some people describe it as booming or echo-like. Certain sounds like chewing, swallowing, and walking may seem too loud.

What you can do

  • Get your hearing aid adjusted as many times as needed. For many people, it takes several adjustments to get it right.
  • Commit to wearing your hearing aid every day—even if it’s just for a couple hours at first.

Phase Two: Noticing New Sounds

Overwhelmed with sound

Many new hearing aid users are surprised by the forgotten sounds they suddenly can hear. This will be both exciting and exasperating. Birds chirping in the morning or church bells ringing in the distance are a welcome delight. But you might find the hum of the refrigerator unbearable or a slammed door especially startling.

What to do

  • Be patient. Remember that your hearing loss has been gradual; your adjustment period will be, too. Over time, your brain will learn to interpret and filter sounds correctly.
  • Keep a diary of problem sounds that you can bring to your follow-up appointment. Your hearing care professional can determine if an adjustment to your hearing aids might help.

Overcoming sound confusion

Hearing loss warps true sound, and that distorted sound has been your reality over many years. With your hearing aids, your brain has started receiving signals it had been missing, which can be bewildering at first. The shill sound of a phone ring, your feet hitting the pavement on a walk, as you walk, the whir of the heat coming on will seem loud in relation to other sounds.

Your brain needs practice and re-education in order to selectively focus on and filter sounds. You will also get better at recognizing sound direction and to learn which hearing aid settings work best  in different situations

What to do

Get lots of rest. Re-learning to hear is like training a muscle that has not been used in a while. It can be exhausting and feel like it’s taking forever to see results. Take breaks from your hearing aids as needed and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and time to relax.

Stay positive. Purchasing hearing aids is the first step in your journey to better hearing. To overcome hearing loss, you must be determined. There will be frustrations and setbacks, but keeping an open mind and a positive attitude will help you achieve your goal.

Phase Three: Settling In

Your new normal

Hearing aids will help you hear better — but not perfectly. The longer you have your hearing aids and the more often you wear them, the more normal they will feel. Soon you won’t remember what life was like without them.

What you can do

  • Focus on your continued improvement and remember the adjustment period can take six weeks to six months, and even longer for some. Success comes from consistent practice and commitment.

Staying in touch

Your Beltone hearing aid comes with BelCare™, one of the most comprehensive hearing care programs available. BelCare™ benefits assure you attention at any one of over 1500 participating Beltone Hearing Care Centers, nationwide.

What you can do

  • Learn how BelCare™ provides for your hearing health—and protects your investment for the life of your hearing aids.
  • Schedule your annual comprehensive hearing evaluation. Regular hearing screenings are an important part of your overall health care, and with BelCare™, they are absolutely free with no obligation to purchase anything.

Maribeth Neelis
Maribeth Neelis is the Interim Digital Marketing Manager at Beltone. She is excited to join the team and support the digital marketing efforts of Beltone locations throughout the country. Based in Colorado, she spends her free time in the mountains skiing and hiking with her husband and daughter.

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