Tanya is being fitted for a new set of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And it’s the reason for some level anxiety. Not, you know, a ton 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 sitting in her ear canal, particularly since she’s never been a huge fan of earbuds or earplugs.
These worries are not unique to Tanya. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have fears about the general fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to turn the television up so loud that it disturbs her family or even the neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?
How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some individuals find them to be a bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. Initial levels of comfort will fluctuate because, as with many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But you will feel more comfortable after a while as you become used to your hearing aids.
Often it’s just good to realize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect can help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
There are two steps to your adjustment:
- Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: There could be some slight physical discomfort when you first begin 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 because of your hearing aid, you should absolutely talk to your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
- Becoming comfortable with an increased sound quality: In some instances, it may be the sound quality that you need to adapt to. For the majority of people who have been dealing with hearing loss for a long time, it will most likely take some time to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. When you first start using your hearing aids, it might sound a bit loud, or you may hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be distracting. For example, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This is normal. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
In order to enhance your overall comfort and hasten the adjustment period, consult your hearing specialist if you’re having trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are made to do. It might take a few appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything working and just the right fit. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you might want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: You don’t need to use your hearing aids 24/7 when you first get them. You can start gradually and build up from there. From one to four hours every day is a good way to begin. Having said that, you’ll want to build up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
- Practice: The world may sound quite a bit different once you get your hearing aids. Adapting to sound, especially speech, could take some time. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are numerous exercises you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be some discomfort with your hearing aids. But the faster you adjust to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your everyday life. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition happen.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.