Training your hearing

Exercises for new hearing aid users 

Adjusting to something new isn’t always easy. The multitude of new sounds you experience with your new hearing aid may be tiring at first. Achieving free, comfortable hearing requires a positive attitude, determination and patience. Take it step by step. Your hearing needs to gain experience, particularly in difficult hearing situations like crowded rooms or concerts. Begin by wearing your hearing aid for only a few hours each day. 

Working through these simple exercises in the correct order will ease the transition, making sure you enjoy life a little more every day. 

Exercise 1: Listen 

Read aloud to yourself. Don’t worry if your own voice sounds strange at first. Listen to the sounds of your steps and your breath. Make soft noises, like rustling paper, flipping a light switch or jingling keys. Write down all the sounds you can hear in the house. Describe them with adjectives and judge them. Are they pleasant? Strange? You decide! Repeat each day as necessary. When you are satisfied and comfortable with your progress, move on to Exercise 2. 

Exercise 2: Follow a conversation 

Call the speaking clock on the telephone. If you were able to understand it well, make a brief phone call to an acquaintance. Have a conversation with a friend or relative in calm, quiet surroundings. Watch a television show or listen to a radio program in quiet surroundings. Don’t try to talk for too long if you find it uncomfortable; the aim is to move forward in small steps. Again, only move on to the next exercise when you feel completely comfortable and secure. 

Exercise 3: Learn to tolerate loud noises 

Have a conversation in a loud environment. Try chatting with the television playing in the backgroundVisit a difficult hearing situation, like a moderately busy cafe. Be patient! Your success will come with practice. Increase the challenge and have a conversation with several people at once in a loud environment. In busy or loud places, even those without hearing loss, have to make an effort to hear what they need to and block out background noise. 

Exercise 4: Learn how to focus your hearing 

Visit a loud or busy environment. Focus on the sounds you want to hear. Try to identify unfamiliar sounds. Ignore unwanted or disruptive noises. Soon you will be well-practiced and familiar with focusing your attention from one sound to another. Return to your exercises whenever you need to and take time to enjoy the feeling of your hearing becoming clearer.