Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair of hearing aids. And she’s experiencing a little anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo inside of her ears, particularly because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have concerns about the comfort and overall fit of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to crank the TV up so loud that it irritates her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some individuals experience them as a little bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. Initial comfort levels will fluctuate because, as with many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But you will feel more comfortable after a while as you get used to your hearing aids.
Often it’s just good to recognize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what you should expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.
There are two stages to your adjustment:
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some instances, it might be the sound quality that you need to adapt to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for some time, it will probably take some time to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. It may sound a bit loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. In the beginning, this can be rather distracting. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket whenever he moved his head. This is normal. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: There could be some slight physical discomfort when you first start to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may recommend you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. Even so, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should talk to your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
If either the sound quality or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is annoying you, it’s essential to speak to your hearing specialist about adjustments to increase your all-around comfort and progress the adjustment period.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Luckily, there are a few techniques that have proven to be quite effective over the years.
- Practice: The world might sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, could take a while. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are a number 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 comfortably. You’ll absolutely want to talk about fit with your hearing specialist right off the bat, but you’ll also want to consult your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to make sure everything is working correctly and the fit is just right. You might also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
- 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 start gradually and build up from there. Begin by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Ultimately, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you become comfortable with them.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be a little discomfort with your hearing aids. But the more quickly you adjust to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your everyday life. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition work.
Soon all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.