Tanya is being fitted 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 a little stressed that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo inside of her ears, particularly because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Many first-time hearing aid users have concerns about the comfort and general fit of their hearing aids. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her television at a level That won’t cause trouble with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some individuals experience them as a little uncomfortable when they first use them. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment time, meaning your early level of comfort will vary. But you will get more comfortable over time as you become accustomed to your hearing aids.
Often it’s just good to realize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
There are two steps to your adjustment:
- Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some cases, the improvement in sound quality takes some adjusting to. If you’re like most people, you put off on getting hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full range of sounds anymore. It may sound a bit loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. In the beginning, this can be somewhat distracting. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket whenever he moved his head. This is normal. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might recommend that you start off slowly wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to become accustomed to how the device feels in your ear. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should get in touch with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
If either the sound quality or the physical placement of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s critical to speak with your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your all-around comfort and quicken the period of adjustment.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Thankfully, there are a few techniques that have proven to be quite effective over the years.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears well. It may take a few visits with your hearing specialist to get everything working and just the right fit. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you need to wear them all day, every day right off the bat. You can gradually work your way up to it. From one to four hours per day is a great way to start. Having said that, you’ll want to work up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
- Practice: The world might sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adapting to sound, specifically speech, could take some time. There are many practices (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get the hang of this a little faster.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be some discomfort with your hearing aids. But the more quickly you adjust to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your everyday life. In order to really make that transition, it’s crucial that you wear them every day.
Pretty soon, you’ll be focusing on is having good conversation with friends.