While we wait for it to be safe to leave our homes again, some hearing aid users might be wondering “Do I need to wear my hearing aids during a quiet day at home?” This blog will address this very important question, and provide you with all the reasons why it is important to still wear your hearing aids, even if you’re spending a quiet night indoors.
“How often do I really need to wear my hearing aids?”
This is a question we often get asked by our patients. They see the importance of wearing hearing aids when they are out doing their daily activities, but aren’t so sure they need to wear their hearing aids when having a quiet day at home. If you are new to hearing aids, or not so new but find yourself not wearing them at home, keep reading below, and we hope to change your mind!
Hearing aids in your ears means: things at home are easier to hear!
Let’s start with the main reason you got hearing aids….to help you hear better! Just because you aren’t going out of your home on a particular day, it does not mean you don’t need to hear the sounds around you. You might have an unscheduled phone call with a family member, or perhaps a neighbor stops by to say hello. If your hearing aids aren’t in, chances are you won’t want to make the other person wait while you put your hearing aids in. This means you could end up struggling to hear during these conversations. When you put your hearing aids in each morning, you don’t run into this challenging scenario. It also means if you decide to run an errand or step out for a walk, you won’t forget your hearing aids at home. Wearing your hearing aids also helps you hear the radio or television more clearly, and you won’t need to turn up the volume (others at home or neighbors down the hall will thank you for this)!
Hearing aids in your ears means: your brain is more active!
Brain stimulation is a huge benefit of treating hearing loss. When you are hearing sounds at home, whether it be in the garden, the kitchen, or a car door closing outside, you are staying connected to your world! Your brain is getting more input than without your hearing aids in. If the brain isn’t hearing sounds at a normal volume, this means those regions of the brain are not being as active as they should be, and over time these regions of the brain can actually shrink because they are not being stimulated. Over time, this can have an impact on your cognition and how your brain functions. Giving the brain sounds to process means it has work to do… think of it like doing a word search puzzle but with your ears! An active brain is better than a sleepy one!
Hearing aids in your ears means: help with your tinnitus!
As many of you who experience tinnitus know, it can be more noticeable when in quiet, and a big strategy is to avoid silence. What a perfect time to use your new tools (also known as your hearing aids) to help you avoid silence while at home. Hearing aids help our auditory system focus on external sounds instead of our internal sounds. In addition, when your hearing aids are in, you can access your tinnitus masker program (if you have one) to help shift your focus from your tinnitus to other sounds.
Hearing aids in your ears means: an easier time learning to handle your hearing aids!
We humans are creatures of habit, so when there is something new to adopt into your daily routine, it only makes sense to do it….daily! Your audiologist knows it can be intimidating putting your hearing aids in the first time not in the clinic, so take your time, sit at a table with good lighting, and don’t worry if it takes a few tries. We suggest choosing a time to put your hearing aids in when you are doing other daily routine items, such as brushing your teeth, or making your coffee. A friendly sticky note reminding yourself to put them in can be helpful as well. If you put them in everyday for the first two weeks, you will have your routine down pat! Every night when you take your hearing aids out, you can practice cleaning off the hearing aids with your soft cloth and brush. Practice does really make perfect!
Hearing aids in your ears means: an easier time adapting to the new sound!
Not only will you have practice putting the hearing aids in and out, but having your hearing aids in at home helps you adapt to the new soundscape of your life! For many of our patients, it has been several years since hearing sounds around your home at a normal volume. Sounds such as: footsteps, floors creaking, cutlery on dishes, zippers zipping, clocks ticking. These small background sounds may seem overwhelming or loud at the beginning, but the more hours you clock wearing your hearing aids, the more times you hear these sounds, and your brain will start to re-label them as background sounds and pay less attention.
We hope you read along and found yourself nodding in agreement with all these encouraging reasons to wear your hearing aids at home and when you are out. In short, our answer to the question at the start of this blog is “All waking hours”. If you think you would benefit from an extra appointment in the clinic with your audiologist to review how to handle your hearing aids, please give us a call!
North Oshawa: 905-725-1999