Tanya is being measured for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And it’s the reason for some level anxiety. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget inside of her ear canal, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s doubts are not unusual. Fit and general comfort are worries for many new hearing aid users. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. She’s anticipating hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her TV at a level not likely to cause issues with the neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some people experience them as a little uncomfortable when they first wear them. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment period, meaning your early level of comfort will vary. But you will become more comfortable in time as you become acquainted with your hearing aids.
Recognizing that these adjustments will occur can help alleviate some of the stress. Knowing what you should expect can help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
There are two steps to your adjustment:
- Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some cases, it might be the sound quality that you need to adapt to. If you’re like most people, you waited to get hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full array of sounds anymore. When you first start wearing your hearing aids, it may sound a little bit loud, or you may hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be slightly distracting. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat when he moved his head. This is typical. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
- Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: There could be some moderate physical discomfort when you first begin to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may suggest you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re feeling pain because of your hearing aid, you should certainly talk to your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
If either the quality of sound or the physical placement of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s important to consult your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your all-around comfort and quicken the adjustment period.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Fortunately, there are a few methods that have proven to be quite effective over the years.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are designed to fit your ears properly. You’ll obviously want to talk about 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 sure everything is working correctly and the fit is excellent. You may also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
- 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 right off the bat. You can gradually work your way up to it. From one to four hours every day is a great way to begin. Ultimately, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you become comfortable with them.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. And it may take a while for your ears to adjust, specifically when it comes to speech. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are lots of practices you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there may be some discomfort with your hearing aids. Pretty soon 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 every day is crucial to make that transition happen.
Soon all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.