New hearing aids - Tips for success

Congratulations on receiving your new hearing aids. You’ve taken a big step towards better hearing, keep up the good work by learning how to get the most from your new hearing aids.

Adapting to using hearing aids

Listening through hearing aids may feel strange at first – it can be a bit of a shock to the
system to suddenly hear sounds you may not have heard for many years. When people first
try hearing aids, or switch between types of hearing aids they often report the following:

  • Hearing an echo of their own voice when they talk
  • Other people’s voices sounding ‘tinny’ or ‘electronic’
  • Amplification of high-pitched sounds and background noises

The good news is that all of this settles over time as your brain gets used to hearing through the hearing aids. This happens as your brain learns to prioritise what you want to hear versus unimportant background noises. Your Audiologist may have described this as the ‘adjustment period’. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months, depending on how often you wear your hearing aids – the more you wear them, the quicker your brain will adjust.

Hearing aids don’t restore normal hearing, however once you have adjusted to wearing them you will hear speech more clearly and find that listening becomes easier and less tiring. Many people also describe a richer hearing experience once they have hearing aids, as you are able to pick up pleasant environmental sounds, such as birdsong.

If you have hearing loss in both ears your Audiologist may recommend that you wear two hearing aids. This is because your ears work together to help you identify where sounds are coming from. Therefore, if you have two hearing aids it is important to wear both of them. If you chose to only have one hearing aid initially, consider asking for a second at your next follow-up appointment, as this will help sounds to feel balanced and more natural.

Most hearing aids provided by the NHS sit behind your ear. These have a tube or wire that sits inside your ear, with a dome or ear mould on the end. Taking these hearing aids in and out will become second nature over time, but can take a bit of practice at first. You may find it easier to sit in front of a mirror whilst you are learning. If you are unsure, it’s also a good idea to ask a someone to check you have your hearing aid in correctly before leaving home (to avoid it falling out and getting lost).

Building up to wearing hearing

For best results, hearing aids should be worn all day, every day. It is not possible to wear hearing aids ‘too much’ during the day, but Audiologists recommend leaving them out over night to give your ears time to ventilate. If your hearing aids are rechargeable, this also gives them time to charge up!

Initially you may find it overwhelming to wear your hearing aids all day. Most people build up to this over a few weeks, slowing increasing the time they wear them each day. Everyone’s hearing loss is different, so it is important to do this at your own pace. Take breaks when you need to, rather than pushing yourself to wear them if the sound becomes unbearable.

Another key consideration is where you are wearing your hearing aids. It is best to start off by using them in quiet places where you have control of the sound levels, such as at home. Over time, as you build confidence in using your hearing aids you can explore busier locations with higher noise levels. Generally, people find bustling shopping centres, restaurants, and bars the most challenging – so save these until last! Also consider the acoustics of places you visit – if there are lots of hard surfaces, sounds are more likely to echo. Venues with soft furnishings and fabrics absorb sound, so background noise doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming.

While you are still getting used to your hearing aids you may find it helpful to set alarms throughout the day to remind you to put them in. You could also ask family or friends to gently prompt you if they notice that you are not wearing them.

Once you’re wearing your hearing aids all day, some people find that keeping them next to your toiletries or glasses overnight helps you to get into the habit of putting them on as part of your usual morning routine. Be sure to wait until after you’ve showered and got ready though, as your hearing aids are not waterproof, and are very sensitive to cosmetics and perfumes!

Consistently wearing hearing aids not only helps when you first have them but has also been shown to protect your hearing from further deterioration. Although you can’t stop the natural aging process, stimulating the areas of your brain that decode sound helps to keep them working well – hearing is a ‘use it or lose it’ sense. There is also evidence that wearing hearing aids can protect against anxiety and depression, and even delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Practicing good communication

Once you’ve settled in to wearing your new hearing aids you will hopefully see significant improvements in your hearing ability. However, hearing aids cannot give you perfect hearing, so it is important to adapt how you communicate to give yourself the best chance of hearing people clearly. The following good communication tips aren’t just for you – ask family and friends to read them so they can be hearing aids, too.

Reduce background noise (e.g. mute the TV or
turn down music)
Ensure you’re facing the
person speaking and can see
their mouth (don’t shout from
neighbouring rooms)
Ask people to get your
attention before speaking
Ask people to rephrase rather than repeat thingsBe open about your hearing difficulties / tell people you are wearing a hearing aidSpeak up if someone is talking too quickly or quietly for you to understand the

Caring for your new hearing aids

It is important to keep your hearing aids in tip top condition, so they provide high-quality sound. Although the outer shell of your hearing aid is designed to withstand a little wear and tear from everyday activities, it houses complex electronics which are more fragile. Following a few simple dos and don’ts will protect the inner workings of your hearing aids, ensuring you get the best possible performance from them for years to come:

✓ Store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place
when you’re not using them
✓ Protect your hearing aids from excessive
heat and water – they can cope with a
splash of light rain, but not being immersed
✓ Leave you hearing aids to dry overnight if
they get very wet, and ensure they are
completely dry before using again
✓ Take you hearing aids off before using
toiletries, cosmetics, or perfumes (because
any overspray could damage the
✓ Wipe your hearing aids every day with a
soft, dry cloth or tissue to remove earwax,
sweat and any dirt or moisture that may
have built up during the day
✓ Regularly clean your hearing aids tubing, if
you have been provided with suitable tools
to do so
✓ Drop your hearing aids – remember that
they contain fragile electronics so need to
be handled with care
✓ Wear your hearing aids while showering,
bathing, or participating in any activities
where they are likely to get very wet (e.g.
swimming) or damp (e.g. in a steam room)
✓ Use water or any other liquids (including
alcohol) to clean your hearing aids
✓ Poke anything into the openings on your
hearing aids, (including bristles from
cleaning brushes) as this may damage the
✓ Leave your hearing aids on a radiator or
other heat source
✓ Forget to bring your hearing aids to any
follow-up visits with your Audiologist, who
will check them and carry out routine

Hearing aid hacks

Preserving battery power: Turn off hearing aids when not in use and, if your devices use disposable batteries, remove the batteries when not in use for a long period of time.

Taking phone calls: danalogic Ambio Smart hearing aids stream phone calls directly into your hearing aids from a compatible smart device. If you prefer to hold the handset to your ear and have behind-the-ear hearing aids, ensure you hold the phone slightly away from your head so its at the top of your ear where the hearing aid microphones are. We have a guide on this with pictures on our support website. If you’re struggling to hear on the phone, even with your hearing aids, try video calling instead. Being able to see someone’s face means you will automatically lipread, even if you don’t know you’re doing it! There are lots of free online video calling services that you can use with a smartphone or computer.

Replacing disposable components: Keep sound quality high by replacing disposable components (e.g. tubing and domes) when they become stiff, brittle or discoloured. If your Audiologist provided spares, you can do this at home, otherwise you will need to visit your local Audiology service for help.

Keeping tabs on your hearing: If you notice a change in your hearing contact your Audiology service and ask for a hearing test, as your hearing aids can be reprogrammed to support even minor changes to your hearing.

Troubleshooting minor issues: If one of your hearing aids is not working properly you might need to contact your Audiology service for help repairing it. However, you may be able to fix minor problems at home:

8 Patient Handout Top Tips For Hearing Aid Success FA Qs

Further information and how to guides and videos can be found in the Patient Portal. We also recommend using the LEA health app. It is free to download, is designed to be used by anyone with any level of hearing loss, and any type of hearing aid and serves a virtual companion – delivering tailored information and supporting people on their journey to better hearing. Find out more and download the app on