Tanya is being measured for a new pair 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 somewhat concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo inside of her ears, particularly since she’s never been a big fan of earplugs or earbuds.
Tanya’s worries are not unusual. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have doubts about the overall fit and comfort of their hearing aids. 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 comfortable?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some people experience them as a little uncomfortable at first. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment time, which means your early level of comfort will fluctuate. But you will become more comfortable in time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids.
Recognizing that these adjustments will happen can help relieve some of the concerns. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be easier.
There are two phases to your adjustment:
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes a little getting used to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will 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 little loud, or you might hear sounds that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be annoying. For instance, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This is typical. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
- Becoming accustomed to a hearing aid in your ear: There could be some moderate physical discomfort when you first begin wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may suggest you initially wear your hearing aids for only part of the day. Even so, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should consult with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
In order to improve your general comfort and quicken the adjustment period, speak with your hearing specialist if you’re having trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.
How Can I Enhance The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.
- Practice: The world may sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, specifically speech, could take some time. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are lots of practices you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are designed to fit your ears properly. You’ll definitely want to talk about 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 properly and the fit is perfect. You might also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for optimal comfort and effectiveness.
- Start slow: You don’t have to use your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week when you first get them. You can build up to that. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. With that being said, you’ll want to build up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be 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 daily life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will happen. Wearing them every day is essential to make that transition happen.
Soon all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.