Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair of hearing aids. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat stressed that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gadget inside of her ears, particularly since she’s never been a huge fan of earbuds or earplugs.
These concerns are not only felt by Tanya. Fit and general comfort are worries for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank the TV up so loud that it bothers her family or even her neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some individuals find them to be a little bit uncomfortable at first. Early comfort levels will vary because, as with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But you will get more comfortable over time as you become acquainted with your hearing aids.
Recognizing that these adjustments will occur can help ease some of the anxiety. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.
Adjusting to your hearing aid has two parts:
- Becoming comfortable with a higher quality of sound: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes some adjusting to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will most likely take a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you first start using your hearing aids, it might sound a little loud, or you might hear sounds that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be annoying. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket every time he moved his head. This isn’t unusual. In a short period of time, your brain will make the necessary adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
- Becoming accustomed to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might recommend that you begin slowly wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to get accustomed 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.
If either the quality of sound or the physical placement of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s important to consult your hearing specialist about adjustments to help improve your overall comfort and advance the period of adjustment.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, fortunately, there are a few techniques that have worked pretty well.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, specifically speech, may take a while. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are a number of exercises you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears comfortably is what hearing aids are made to do. You’ll absolutely want to discuss your fit with your hearing specialist right off the bat, 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 think about a custom fit hearing aid for optimal comfort and effectiveness.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you need to wear them all day, every day right away. You can build up to that. From one to four hours every day is a good way to begin. Ultimately, you will be wearing your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there may be some discomfort with your hearing aids. Before long you’re hearing aids will be a comfortable part of your everyday life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will happen. Wearing them every day is critical to make that transition work.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.