Tanya is being fitted for a new pair 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 had to use hearing aids before, and she’s a little stressed that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gadget sitting in her ear canal, particularly since she’s never been a big fan of earbuds or earplugs.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have fears about the comfort and general fit of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to turn the TV up so loud that it bothers her family or even her neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some individuals experience them as a little bit uncomfortable when they first use them. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period, meaning your early level of comfort will vary. But you will feel more comfortable in time as you become used to your hearing aids.
Knowing that these adjustments will happen can help relieve some of the stress. Knowing what to expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two parts:
- Becoming accustomed to a higher sound quality: In some instances, it might be the sound quality that you need to adapt to. If you’re like most people, you put off on getting hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a complete range of sounds anymore. When you begin wearing your hearing aids, it might sound a bit loud, or you might hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be annoying. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket every time he moved his head. This is normal. In a short period of time, your brain will make the necessary adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might suggest that you start off slowly wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to become accustomed to how the device feels in your ear. Even so, there should not be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain due to your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
In order to improve your overall comfort and speed up the adjustment period, speak with 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?
Thankfully, there are a few techniques that have proven to be rather successful over the years.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you have to wear them all day, every day at first. You can start gradually and build up from there. From one to four hours every day is a good way to begin. That said, you’ll want to work up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll absolutely 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 make certain everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. You may also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
- Practice: The world may sound just a little bit different once you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, particularly speech, could take a while. There are many exercises (reading along with an audiobook or watching TV with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get better at this a little more quickly.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there may be a little discomfort with your hearing aids. But the faster you adjust to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your everyday life. Wearing them on a daily basis is crucial to make that transition happen.
Soon all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.