How long will it take to get used to HA?

Hello,
I have mentioned earlier about my hearing loss condition. Well, I got to know about my condition pretty late and BOOM! they tell me I have a mild hearing loss which could become a profound one. I experienced plenty of symptoms from the high TV volume to asking people constantly to speak up or repeat what they just said. I just started wearing these hearing aids from Toronto with Bluetooth connectivity. I work with a lot of clients and I have to make calls almost all the time but these HA are really uncomfortable. To top it off, I am really embarrassed to wear these HA. I just don’t want anyone to treat me differently. So I got the Oticon Alta2 one. Its apparently really good and has the Bluetooth connectivity feature as well. But the problem is that I am not used to taking calls using my HA, so it has started to affect my work too. What should I do about this? Or should I get help? Will it take a long time for me to get used to this? Is there anything I can do? I am in dire need of help here. These few weeks since I got my HA have been so stressful that I want to make sure that everything goes back to the way it was. Do share your thoughts and experiences.

hi I have a mild to moderate hearing lose I don’t have a ha with Bluetooth so don’t know what that’s like and only wear hearing aid in the right ear currently but I certainly found that when I first started wearing my hearing aid I found it not the most comfortable experience as it made my ear itch but the best piece of advice my audiologist gave me in terms of getting use to it is to start off just wearing indoors to get use to sound indoors before you start wearing it out and to also only wear it for the first couple of weeks for a couple of hours a day and then to slowly start increasing the amount of time I wear it for and the types of environment I wear it in and that really helped me to get use to it in a reasonable amount of time.

I have the Bluetooth device for my hearing aids and I have everything possible going through my hearing aids, cell phone, office phone, laptops (2 with soft phone applications), tablets, TV, and generic Bluetooth transmitters.

I am currently using the double-domes so I can’t really use a phone without Bluetooth unless I get the sound right over the hearing aid Mic.

As I said earlier, people don’t really notice hearing aids and I’ve never had someone comment or ask me anything. I’ve had many situations where I had to tell someone I was wearing hearing aids, and I have short hair and wear behind the ear RIC style aids.

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About your concerns about getting used to new hearing aids, it does take a few months for your brain to adjust and to get the most benefit from them, and it may take a few adjustment sessions, but what about things getting back to normal or being like they were? Is that about phone use or something else?

It is normal to grieve a hearing loss and you should give yourself that space. But, if there are physical discomforts or things like phones not working well, that should be addressed and can be solved.

It sounds like you’re trying to do everything at once and that’s definitely overwhelming. Try to split it up into small tasks. First I’d work on getting them to feel comfortable. Gradually increase the amount of time you wear them. If they remain uncomfortable, talk to your hearing aid person. A different dome or possibly even receiver wire lenght could help, or maybe even different instructions for inserting hearing aids. Once you’ve solved the comfort issue, then work on the bluetooth calls issue. What is it about the calls that’s troublesome? As far as embarrasment: I know many people feel this way, but honestly, most people won’t even notice your hearing aids even if you point them out. Hang in there. :>)

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Being uncomfortable or itchy is helped by something like Eargene. I got a bottle when I started to help minimize that. I got use to the domes and don’t use it now.

There are a lot of annoying things at the start. It seems daunting but before long things get more natural as the body and mind adapt to the sounds and the various irritations.

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I’m new to HA’s as well and about 4 weeks in… and no expert at all. Tried 4 different brands before settling on one. If you are connected with a smart phone via bluetooth to them, there are ways to address what goes through the HA and what does not. Not every Audi shows all the ropes on this. So if you like using the phone as you did before it is an easy change. Are you using an iphone? It’s easy once you know where to look in the menu on the phone and many of us can walk you through that.

As for the discomfort I experienced itchiness with mine and my Aud recommended cornhusker oil to dab in the ear. I have not used that yet but the discomfort is much less.

Are you using an open dome on your HA’s with your loss that may be enough? and provide additional comfort.

Don’t be embarrassed that you are using them!! Think if them as a tool, an important tool, just like glasses that help make your life better. I was very open at work about my getting them and ironically a few coworkers also then admitted they had troubles. One (much younger than me, had his audiogram done) and sure enough asked some questions here and is now wearing a demo set.

The way I see it there will be a significant increase of people wearing HA’s in the near future. Especially those in there late 50’s, early 60’s and having a set could become the replacement for those that are the earbud generation…

It is not clear from your post exactly what trouble you are having with the aids or the use of Bluetooth. Perhaps if you clarified what problems you are experiencing then the answers could be more specific.

As for getting used to HAs:

  • Comfort depends on brand, your individual ear canals, type of HA and receiver/dome/mold, some time to get used to them.
  • New HA users may not receive the full benefit, hearing wise, until their amplification targets are reached. Many audiologists will set the aids to about 75-85% of reccommended target gain so that you are not overwhelmed at first. They then increase the gain over time (weeks to months) until full target gains are reached. This is when you will get the full benefit of the aids.
  • Bluetooth connection and devices can be a bit fiddly but persevere and you will get the hang of it and how to troubleshoot problems.
  • if you have been asking people to repeat things then they already know you have a hearing problem. People hardly ever notice HAs.
  • Try to work out what specific things you are having trouble with so that both your audiologist and forum members can try to help. It also helps to enter your audio gram in your profile.
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I’ve been wearing aids for two years. I’m in my mid thirties so it’s probably less common for someone in my age group. I work at a major corporation and am a supervisor in a claims department. I routinely take calls though my hearing aids using the MFi setup (I forward all my work calls to an iPhone). Only one person has ever mentioned how I take calls and his comments were that it seems awesome to be able to leverage technology like this. Trust me it’s all in your head. No one cares. In reality, most people have more to do than think about a coworker who uses hearing aids.

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Cynthia,

It would help if you posted your audiogram. I was also embarrassed at first to wear hearing aids. Now I am amazed at how few people notice. I am at the point where I want people to notice but very few do, or at least say anything, even though I have large BTEs.

Every newbie goes through the same thing. There are many technical things that can be done, but it requires patience. I do not hear normal sound, I hear “hearing aid” sound, but that’s fine as long as I can understand people,which I do. Try to be patient and not to react at all the small things that are wrong. You will get used to them if you do not expect too much. After a year or so, I couldn’t imagine life without my hearing aids and the “new normal.”

–Steve

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I’ll comment a bit on my experience with comfort. My hearing aids come with a medium dome. I place the RIC on top of the ear, place dome in ear canal, stuff it in as far as it will go with my finger, tuck the retention clip in the ear and I’m good to go. I don’t even know I’m wearing them. I’m trialing another pair of hearing aids. The audiologist fit it with large domes. If I use the same technique, my ears get quite uncomfortable. If I instead just push gently and then back off just a bit, they’re reasonably comfortable. Haven’t decided yet, but I think the mediums are a better idea. I think basic point is that there are lots of things to consider. Key things: 1) Don’t try to “gut it out.” You’ll end up really irritating your ear. 2) Try to gradually increase the time you wear them. 3) If you’re still having problems, don’t be afraid to talk to your fitter.

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The way we fit hearing aids, most people are feeling that the hearing aids are almost not there within the first few days. We are in Toronto. PM me if you want to chat.

In all the years I have worn HA’s I have only had a few people even notice my aids and mine have standard tubes, so they are very noticeable. More people notice my Streamer than the HA’s and when I tell them what it’s for, they want one! I have always been up front and very honest about my hearing issues and have never had anyone treat me differently because I wear hearing aids. Just remember this: your hearing loss is much more visible than your hearing aids! Hearing aids aren’t like glasses, they don’t instantly correct your hearing like glasses do with your eyesight. They will take time to get used to and in the end they will help, but they won’t give you back perfect hearing. Give it a month or two and at that time things should be a lot better. Finally, I would think the last thing you would want someone to say after you’ve asked them to repeat what they just said for the second or third time, WOW, maybe you should go see an audiologist! Good luck!

I do find my daughter is much more tolerant when I do ask her to repeat something when I’m wearing hearing aids. She knows that I’m doing everything I can.

Cynthia,

Someone mentioned you hadn’t explained what’s uncomfortable.

If it’s physical comfort, you’ll need the help of the fitter.

If tone-control is the problem, you’ll also need the fitter – to adjust the settings.

The one item I will address is uncomfortable VOLUME.

  1. If that’s the issue, start with volume so low you barely know it’s turned on.
  2. After a week or more with volume at the lowest possible lever, set it to the next volume level.
  3. Continue to increase the volume lever until you actually sense you are gaining some benefit from the aid(s).

This is a bit slow, but if you start with too much volume, you’ll be overwhelmed!

With that said, good luck!