Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s the reason for some anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat stressed about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget inside of her ear canal, especially since she’s never been a huge fan of earplugs or earbuds.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Fit and overall comfort are worries for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her television at a level not likely to cause issues with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?
How to Adjust When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people experience them as a little bit uncomfortable when they first use them. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment period, meaning your initial level of comfort will vary. But you will get more comfortable in time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids.
At times it’s just good to realize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect can help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
Adjusting to your hearing aid has two parts:
- Adapting to the feeling of a hearing aid: There might be some slight physical discomfort when you first start wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may recommend you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should talk to your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some cases, it might be the sound quality that you need to adapt to. For the majority of people who have been dealing with hearing loss for some time, it will probably take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. It might sound a little loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. At first, this can be distracting. For instance, one patient complained that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This isn’t uncommon. In a short period of time, your brain will make the necessary adjustments to sounds it doesn’t need to hear.
If either the sound quality or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s essential to consult your hearing specialist about adjustments to increase your all-around comfort and advance the period of adjustment.
How Can I Improve The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few techniques that have worked fairly well.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well is what hearing aids are made to do. You’ll obviously want to discuss your fit with your hearing specialist right away but you’ll also want to consult your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to be certain everything is working correctly and the fit is excellent. You might also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
- Practice: The world might sound just a little bit different once you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, particularly speech, could take a while. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are numerous practices you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Start slow: You don’t need to wear your hearing aids every day from morning till night 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 begin. Ultimately, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you become comfortable with them.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. But the more quickly you adapt to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your everyday life. In order to really make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them every day.
Soon all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.