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What to Expect With Your New Hearing Aid

It may take some adjustment, but you’re on your way to better hearing

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    Get Started

    En español l You’ve already taken the most important step by seeing an audiologist to purchase your hearing aid. The next steps you take will determine your success. Follow these tips to stay on track.

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    Leave It On

    Wear your hearing aid as often as possible and avoid the temptation to take it off when the new sounds you hear seem strange. (Although, if this happens, check the volume and inspect the device for wax, which can interfere with its function. You can also visit your audiologist for fit adjustment.) Remember that you’re not just amplifying sound with your new device but also training your brain to hear again. Use your hearing aid regularly to shorten the adjustment period.

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    Be Patient

    It’s likely that you’ve experienced hearing loss over a long period of time. Regaining your hearing can also take time. Although everyone is different, research indicates that our brains can continue to adjust to new hearing aids for up to nine months after the first fitting.

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    Set Realistic Expectations

    Don’t compare putting on a new hearing aid to putting on new glasses. You won’t hear exactly the same way you did before the loss, but the hearing aid will augment your hearing and ability to communicate and improve your quality of life.

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    Try Different Environments

    Start with quieter places, such as the rooms in your home or the public library. Then move to city streets, grocery stores and public transportation. Your perception that environmental sounds seem louder (a dripping faucet or a barking dog, for example) will eventually moderate as you acclimate.

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    Keep Your Device Clean

    Wipe all the pieces of your hearing aid (including any filters) with a soft cloth every evening when you take it off. For more stubborn wax buildup, use a slightly dampened cloth or even a baby wipe. Never use a soaking wet cloth or harsh chemical cleaners.

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    Keep Your Device Dry

    Although some hearing aids today are waterproof, most are not. Always remove them before showering or swimming. If your ears tend to get sweaty in hot weather, try to keep the insides dry. Don’t leave your device in the bathroom, where the air is humid. Consult with your doctor about buying a drying kit (from a drugstore or online) to store your hearing aid in at night.

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    Avoid Damaging Heat and Products

    Keep your device away from extreme heat, such as inside a parked car. Remove your hearing aid before using cosmetics, hairspray, perfume, sunscreen or insect repellent, and be sure to let products dry before reinserting. Try not to handle a hearing aid over a hard surface so that it won’t get damaged if you accidentally drop it.

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    Care for Batteries

    Open the battery compartment door on your hearing aid when you are not using it— especially overnight — to allow air to circulate and prevent corrosion. Remember to turn your device off when you aren’t using it in order to prolong battery life.

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    Follow Up

    According to a survey by Consumer Reports, 26 percent of people who purchase hearing aids never schedule follow-up appointments. However, a follow-up visit is almost always included in your fee and can involve adjustments to your device to make you more comfortable — and more likely to adapt successfully.

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    Stay Positive

    Think about joining one of the many support groups available to those with hearing loss — some hearing aid providers have even created their own.You can learn from others’ experiences and even enjoy a moment or two of humor — an essential coping mechanism when dealing with any new and challenging situation!

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