Tanya is sitting with 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 hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little worried about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget sitting in her ears, particularly because she’s not a big fan of earpods 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 has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her TV at a volume That won’t cause issues with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some individuals find them to be a bit uncomfortable at first. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment time, which means your early level of comfort will vary. But you will get more comfortable over time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids.
Knowing that these adjustments are coming can help alleviate some of the stress. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.
There are two phases to your adjustment:
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might recommend that you begin gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to become accustomed to how the device feels in your ear. That being said, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should contact your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some cases, the improved sound quality takes a little getting used to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will likely take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you first start wearing your hearing aids, it might sound a bit loud, or you may hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. In the beginning, this can be rather distracting. For example, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This is not unusual. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
If either the quality of sound or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s essential to speak with your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your general comfort and quicken the adjustment period.
How Can I Improve The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Over the years, fortunately, there are a few strategies that have worked fairly well.
- Start slow: You don’t need to use your hearing aids 24/7 right away. You can take your time and work your way up to it. From one to four hours per day is a great way to start. With that being said, you’ll want to build up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. And it could take some time for your ears to adjust, specifically when it comes to the spoken word. There are many practices (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions on) that can help you get the hang of this a little more quickly.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears properly. You’ll obviously 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 perfect. You may also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for optimal effectiveness and comfort.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might feel a little uncomfortable for the first few days or weeks. But the faster you adjust to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your day to day life. Wearing them on a daily basis is crucial to make that transition work.
Soon all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.