So, finally after all the times your family and friends have complained about your hearing loss, you finally decided to get hearing aids. You’ve taken a big step towards improving relationships and enjoying the sounds around you.
Now that you have your hearing aids, there are probably a few questions you may have. The most common problem many people have is determining how long they need to wear their hearing aids. Although the process is slightly different for everyone, and you should talk to your hearing specialist to be certain, there are some general guidelines when it comes to figuring out how long you should wear your hearing aids.
Period of Adjustment
When you first start wearing your hearing aids is likely when you’ll find yourself asking, “how long do I have to wear my hearing aids?” It is essential you understand that, like with most new things, there will be a period of adjustment. It’s not just the feeling of wearing a hearing aid that you’ll need to adjust to either. It may have been several years since you have been able to fully hear the noise around you, so it will take a little bit for you to adjust to hearing again. It is important that you wear your hearing aids every day in order for you to get comfortable wearing them in every environment.
Connecting Your Ears and Your Brain
Wearing your hearing aids when you are in a situation that requires you to hear the sounds around you will allow your ears and your brain learn how to work together again; it will only work if they are consistently exposed to each other. The less you wear your hearing aids, the frequent your ears and your brain will connect and the longer will take for them to connect correctly and it will make it harder to adjust to sounds. When you prevent the stimulation of sound from going to your brain, the ability to make out words from sound will generally diminish over time. Wearing your hearing aids may not always prevent this process from happening, but it can slow it down.
It’s Your Choice
Spending half of the day being able to hear and the half not being able to hear will confuse your brain. However, if wearing your hearing aids all of the time becomes overwhelming, it is perfectly fine to take them off and give your ears a chance to recover. It is ultimately your choice when you want to wear them and when you don’t, but you should keep in mind that if wearing your hearing aids is beneficial for you in certain situations, then you should wear them. If wearing them doesn’t help you hear the sound better around you, by all means, take them out if you so choose. If conversations and sounds are worse while wearing your hearing aids, then you should take them off. If you continue to struggle with understanding the sounds around you after have worn your hearing aids for a long period of time, you should schedule an appointment with your audiologist so they can address your concerns.
So, the short answer to how long should you wear your hearing aids is as often as possible. The more you wear them the more comfortable you will get with hearing the sounds around you and the better your brain and your ears will communicate, but there is no solid rule that says you must wear them 24/7. The goal is to be comfortable and to remember that you started wearing hearing aids because you wanted to hear the sounds around you and to be able to communicate effectively.