Getting new hearing aids is an adjustment. While the new hearing aids immediately adapt the sounds coming into the ear, it may take longer for your loved one’s brain to catch up with those challenges.

If you have a loved one with new hearing aids, you cannot simply expect them to start hearing normally immediately. Instead, you may notice some of these challenges.

1. Everything sounds “loud.”

When your loved one first gets their new hearing aids, even normal, background sounds may seem to come in a very high volume.

They may notice and be distracted by sounds that they didn’t notice in the past: the hum of the fridge, birds chirping outside, or the sound of clothes rustling as they walk around the house, for example.

These loud sounds can be very overwhelming, especially in the beginning. Eventually, your loved one will adjust to those changed sounds, but in the meantime, be patient!

It can be helpful to aid in identifying some of those unfamiliar sounds.

2. It may be easier to startle your loved one.

As your loved one’s hearing loss progressed, the world became increasingly quiet. Now, those loud sounds can be very abrasive and startling. Your loved one may get startled more easily and by more minor sounds.

3. Your loved one may feel overwhelmed at first.

Suddenly being able to hear all those sounds again can be incredibly overwhelming. As hearing loss developed, your loved one stopped filtering out those everyday sounds.

With hearing restored, your loved one may feel very overwhelmed, especially in noisy situations.

Be understanding during this difficult adjustment period.

4. Your loved one’s hearing aids may require adjustment.

Hearing aids often require multiple adjustments during those initial days after your loved one starts using them. You should expect those adjustments to take time.

Do not expect your loved one to start hearing perfectly immediately after starting to use hearing aids, and be understanding of the process.

Any time your loved one has problems with their new hearing aids or their hearing, encourage them to go back to have them adjusted or to ask any questions they might have.

5. Your loved one may need to relearn how to process some sounds.

The more profound your loved one’s hearing loss, the more distorted the sounds they have heard over the past years.

Using hearing aids adds clarity and makes it easier to hear, but the brain will need time to adapt and readjust to those changing inputs.

Expect it to take your loved one some time to adapt.

When your loved one gets new hearing aids, it’s important to be understanding and patient. It can take up to four to six months for your loved one to fully adjust to the new hearing aids.

In the meantime, give your loved one time and expect them to be overwhelmed for a little while. If your loved one is experiencing challenges during this time, encourage them to visit their hearing care expert for advice.

Alternatively, please speak to our friendly team for advice on how to best support them.

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Dr. Tracy Board Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Tracy Board Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Board began her career in audiology after completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin and the doctoral program at The University of Texas at Dallas. She has been fortunate to work in a plethora of healthcare and educational settings. As a result, she has perfected the art of effective adult and pediatric treatment. When she is not at the clinic, Dr. Board works directly with her state and national organizations to not only improve the quality of audiological healthcare in Texas, but also to advocate for her patients.