Tanya is being fitted for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And it’s causing her some anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s a little stressed that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo inside of her ear canal, particularly since she’s never been a big fan of earplugs or earbuds.
These concerns are not only felt by Tanya. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have worries about the overall fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank up the TV so loud that it bothers her family or even the neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some individuals experience them as a little bit uncomfortable when they first use them. Early levels of comfort will vary because, as with many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But you will get more comfortable over time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids.
At times it’s just good to know that these adjustments are will happen. Knowing what to expect can help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
Adapting to your hearing aid includes two phases:
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some cases, it might be the sound quality that you have to adapt to. If you’re like most people, you put off on getting hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full array of sounds anymore. It may sound a bit loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. In the beginning, this can be slightly 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 not uncommon. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
- Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: Your hearing specialist may recommend that you begin gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can have a little time to get used to how the device feels in your ear. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should speak with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
In order to better your general comfort and quicken the adjustment period, speak to your hearing specialist if you’re having trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.
How Can I Enhance The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Thankfully, there are a few methods that have proven to be quite successful over the years.
- 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 per day is a great way to start. That said, you’ll want to work up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears well. It may take several consultations with your hearing specialist to get everything working and just the right fit. You might also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for optimal effectiveness and comfort.
- Practice: The world might sound just a little bit different once you get your hearing aids. Adapting to sound, especially speech, might take some time. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are a number of practices you can do including 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 a little discomfort with your hearing aids. Before long you’re hearing aids will be a comfortable part of your daily life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will occur. In order to really make that transition, it’s critical that you wear them every day.
Soon all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.