Tanya is being fitted for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little worried that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo inside of her ear canal, particularly since she’s never been a huge fan of earbuds or earplugs.
These concerns are not unique to Tanya. Countless first-time hearing aid users have concerns about the comfort and overall 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 her neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some individuals find them to be a bit uncomfortable at first. 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 after a while as you become acquainted with your hearing aids.
At times it’s just good to know that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two parts:
- Becoming accustomed to a higher quality of sound: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes a little adjusting to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for some time, it will most likely take a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you begin wearing your hearing aids, it might sound a bit loud, or you might hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be somewhat distracting. For instance, one patient complained that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This is not abnormal. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
- Adapting to the feeling of a hearing aid: There might be some slight physical discomfort when you first start to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may recommend you initially wear your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there should not be any pain involved. You should consult with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
In order to improve your overall comfort and speed up the adjustment period, get in touch with your hearing specialist if you’re having trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Luckily, there are a few strategies that have proven to be rather successful over the years.
- Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, may take a while. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are a number of exercises you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well 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 be sure everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. And for optimal effectiveness and comfort, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to wear them all day, every day at first. You can gradually work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for a couple to a few hours a day. Eventually, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you become comfortable with them.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might feel a little uncomfortable for the first few days or weeks. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will become a comfortable part of your day to day life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will happen. In order to make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them on a daily basis.
Before long all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.