Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first pair of hearing aids. And she’s experiencing a little anxiety. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat concerned that she will be 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 concerns are not unusual. Fit and overall comfort are worries for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to turn up the television so loud that it bothers her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?
How to Adjust When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some people find them to be a little uncomfortable at first. Initial comfort levels will vary because, like many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But over time, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Often it’s just good to realize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two phases:
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist may suggest that you start off slowly wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to become accustomed to the feeling of the device in your ear. However, there should not be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain because of your hearing aid, you should definitely speak with your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some situations, the improved 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 assortment of sound. It may sound a bit loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. Initially, this can be distracting. For example, one patient complained that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This is not unusual. 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 speed up the adjustment period, talk to your hearing specialist if you’re experiencing trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Thankfully, there are a few techniques that have proven to be rather successful over the years.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, could take some time. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are lots of practices you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to wear them all day, every day right away. You can gradually work your way up to it. From one to four hours every day is a good way to start. Having said that, you’ll want to work up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are designed to fit your ears properly. It could take several appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything functioning and just the right fit. You may also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for optimal comfort and effectiveness.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there may 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 daily life. Wearing them on a daily basis is critical to make that transition work.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.