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 hearing aids are new to her, and she’s somewhat worried that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo inside of her ear canal, particularly because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s doubts are not unusual. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have doubts about the comfort and overall fit of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to use her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to turn up the television so loud that it disturbs her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
How to Adapt When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some people find them to be a bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. Initial comfort levels will vary because, like many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But you will become more comfortable over time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids.
Recognizing that these adjustments are coming can help alleviate some of the anxiety. Knowing what to expect can help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
There are two steps to your adjustment:
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might suggest that you start off gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can have a little time to get used to how the device feels in your ear. However, there should not 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 most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for some time, it will most likely take a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you first start wearing your hearing aids, it may sound a bit loud, or you might hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be annoying. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat whenever he moved his head. This is not abnormal. In a short period of time, your brain will make the required adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
In order to improve your general comfort and speed up the adjustment period, speak to your hearing specialist if you are experiencing trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.
How Can I Improve The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Luckily, there are a few methods that have proven to be rather effective over the years.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you have to wear them all day, every day at first. You can build up to that. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Having said that, you’ll want to work up to wearing 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. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, could take some time. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are lots of exercises you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears well. It may take a few consultations with your hearing specialist to get everything working and fitting just right. You may also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for optimal effectiveness and comfort.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be some 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 make that transition, it’s critical that you wear them on a daily basis.
Before you know it, you’ll be focusing on is having good conversation with friends.