Tanya is being measured for a new set of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s experiencing a little anxiety. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s somewhat concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo inside of her ear canal, particularly since she’s never been a huge fan of earplugs or earbuds.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Countless first-time hearing aid users have worries about the comfort and general fit of their hearing aids. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to turn the TV up so loud that it irritates her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some individuals find them to be a bit uncomfortable at first. Early comfort levels will fluctuate because, like many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But you will get more comfortable after a while as you get acquainted with your hearing aids.
Knowing that these adjustments will happen can help ease some of the stress. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be easier.
Adapting to your hearing aid has two phases:
- Becoming accustomed to an improved quality of sound: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes a little getting used to. For most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for a long time, it will likely take a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. It might sound a little loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. Initially, this can be slightly distracting. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket every time he moved his head. This is not unusual. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
- Adjusting to the feeling of a hearing aid: There could be some moderate physical discomfort when you first start wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may suggest you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain due to your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
If either the sound quality or the physical placement of the hearing aids is bothering you, it’s essential to consult your hearing specialist about adjustments to increase your overall comfort and quicken the adjustment period.
How Can I Enhance The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Luckily, there are a few techniques that have proven to be rather effective over the years.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears comfortably is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll definitely want to talk about fit with your hearing specialist right away but you’ll also want to see your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to make sure everything is working correctly and the fit is excellent. You might also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you need to wear them all day, every day right off the bat. You can start gradually and build up from there. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. That said, you’ll want to work up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. And it could take a while for your ears to adjust, specifically when it comes to the spoken word. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are lots of practices you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there may be some discomfort with your hearing aids. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will be a comfortable part of your day to day life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will occur. Wearing them on a daily basis is crucial to make that transition work.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.