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Adjusting to Hearing Aids

The following is a general list of "do's and don'ts" for adjusting to your hearing aids. These guidelines apply to all varieties of hearing aids. Specific questions regarding your hearing aids should be addressed with your hearing aid dispenser.

DO adjust to the hearing aid gradually. Wear the hearing aid as long as it feels comfortable. Gradually build up time. In a week or two, you should be wearing it full-time. Part-time use is usually not recommended. The more you wear the aid, the less conscious of it you will become, and the more natural the sound will become.

DO keep realistic expectations. Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing; they only amplify. Even when the hearing aid is functioning optimally, you may still have some difficulty understanding speech, depending on your hearing loss and the situation.

DO avoid groups and noisy situations the first few times you wear the hearing aid. Start wearing the hearing aid when you are alone or with one person you know well. Then when you are comfortable with the aid, take it into groups and crowds. Do not wear it in large groups, crowds, traffic, etc., until you are become accustomed to it. There may be some situations where you never want to wear it because it is too noisy (subway, factory work, etc.)

DO learn to adjust the volume with your own voice. One setting should be comfortable for most situations, with occasional resetting for unusually loud or soft situations. If you find yourself constantly adjusting the volume, talk to your audiologist.

DO continue to sit up front in church, school, lectures, meetings, etc. The best distance between the hearing aid and the speaker is usually three to six feet.

DO continue to use lip reading and other visual cues to help you understand.

Page updated 2/16/09