Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first pair of hearing aids. And it’s causing her some level anxiety. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s somewhat worried that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo inside of her ears, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s concerns are not unusual. Countless first-time hearing aid users have concerns 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 up the television so loud that it bothers her family or even her neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first use them. Initial comfort levels will fluctuate because, as with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But after a while, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Sometimes it’s just good to realize that these adjustments are will happen. Knowing what you should expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
Adjusting to your hearing aid has two phases:
- Becoming accustomed to a hearing aid in your ear: There might be some minor physical discomfort when you first begin to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist might suggest you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. Even so, there should not be any pain involved. You should speak with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes a little adjusting to. If you’re like the majority of people, you put off on getting hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a complete array of sounds anymore. When you begin using your hearing aids, it might sound a bit loud, or you may hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be slightly distracting. For example, one patient complained that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This isn’t uncommon. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
In order to improve your general comfort and hasten the adjustment period, get in touch with your hearing specialist if you are having trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.
How Can I Improve The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
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. You’ll obviously 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 be certain everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you may want to consider a custom fit hearing aid.
- Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. Adapting to sound, especially speech, could take some time. There are many exercises (reading along with an audiobook or watching TV with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get better at this a little faster.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you have to wear them all day, every day right off the bat. You can build up to that. From one to four hours every day is a good way to begin. With that being said, you’ll want to work up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be a little discomfort with your hearing aids. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will become a comfortable part of your everyday life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will happen. In order to really make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them on a daily basis.
Before you know it, you’ll be focusing on is having good conversation with friends.