Tanya is being measured for a new set of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s a little concerned that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gadget sitting in her ears, especially since she’s never been a huge fan of earplugs or earbuds.
Tanya’s concerns are not unusual. Many first-time hearing aid users have concerns about the general fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank the television up so loud that it irritates her family or even the neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?
How to Adapt When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some people find them to be 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 over time, you’ll become accustomed to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Knowing that these adjustments will happen can help relieve some of the anxiety. Knowing what you should expect can help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
There are two steps to your adjustment:
- Adjusting to the feeling of a hearing aid: There could be some minor physical discomfort when you first start to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist might recommend you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there should not be any pain involved. If you’re feeling pain because of your hearing aid, you should definitely talk to your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
- Becoming comfortable with a higher sound quality: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes a little adjusting to. For most people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will likely take a while to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. When you begin wearing your hearing aids, it may sound a little 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 example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket whenever he moved his head. This is typical. In a short period of time, your brain will make the necessary adjustments to sounds it doesn’t need to hear.
In order to better your overall comfort and hasten the adjustment period, consult your hearing specialist if you are experiencing trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few techniques that have worked pretty well.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you need to wear them all day, every day right off the bat. You can start gradually and build up from there. From one to four hours every day is a great way to start. That said, you’ll want to build up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears properly. You’ll absolutely want to discuss your fit with your hearing specialist right off the bat, but you’ll also want to consult your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to be certain everything is working correctly and the fit is excellent. You might 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 after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, specifically speech, could take a while. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are numerous 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 may be a little discomfort with your hearing aids. Before long you’re hearing aids will become a comfortable part of your daily life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will happen. Wearing them on a daily basis is critical to make that transition happen.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.