Tanya is being fitted for a new set of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s experiencing a little anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat worried that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gadget sitting in her ears, particularly since she’s never been a huge fan of earplugs or earbuds.
Tanya’s doubts are not unusual. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have fears about the comfort and general fit of their hearing aids. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her TV at a volume That won’t cause problems with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
Adjusting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some individuals experience them as a little uncomfortable when they first wear them. Initial levels of comfort will fluctuate because, like many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But in time, you’ll get used to the feeling of your hearing aids and become more comfortable.
Knowing that these adjustments are coming can help relieve some of the concerns. 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:
- Becoming accustomed to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might recommend that you start off gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can have a little time to get used to the feeling of the device in your ear. Even so, there should not be any pain involved. You should talk to your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
- Becoming comfortable with an improved quality of sound: In some situations, the improvement in sound quality takes a little adjusting to. For the majority of people who have been dealing with hearing loss for some time, it will most likely take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. It might sound a bit loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. At first, this can be somewhat distracting. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat every time he moved his head. This isn’t unusual. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
In order to enhance your general comfort and quicken the adjustment period, contact your hearing specialist if you’re experiencing trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.
How Can I Increase The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Fortunately, there are a few techniques that have proven to be rather effective over the years.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are made to do. You’ll definitely 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 perfect. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to wear them all day, every day right off the bat. You can take your time and work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Having said that, you’ll want to work up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. And it may take some time for your ears to adjust, specifically when it comes to speech. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are a number of practices you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be some discomfort with your hearing aids. 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 crucial that you wear them on a daily basis.
Soon all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.