Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair of hearing aids. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat worried about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget inside of her ears, especially because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.
These concerns are not only felt by Tanya. Countless first-time hearing aid users have worries about the comfort and overall fit of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to crank up the TV so loud that it bothers her family or even her neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?
Adjusting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some individuals experience them as a bit uncomfortable at first. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment time, meaning your early level of comfort will vary. But in time, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
At times it’s just nice to realize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.
Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two phases:
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might recommend that you start off gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to get used to the feeling of the device in your ear. Even so, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re feeling pain due to your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
- Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some cases, the improvement in sound quality takes a little adjusting to. For the majority of 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. It may sound a little loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. In the beginning, this can be rather distracting. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket whenever he moved his head. This is normal. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
If either the quality of sound or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is bothering you, it’s important to talk to your hearing specialist about adjustments to increase your overall comfort and progress the period of adjustment.
How Can I Increase The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Luckily, there are a few strategies that have proven to be fairly effective over the years.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears comfortably. You’ll definitely want to talk about fit with your hearing specialist right away 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 consider a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
- Practice: The world might sound quite a bit different once you get your hearing aids. And it might take a while for your ears to adapt, especially when it comes to the spoken word. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are a number of exercises you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Start slow: You don’t have to use your hearing aids 24/7 right away. You can start gradually and build up from there. From one to four hours every day is a great way to begin. Eventually, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you become comfortable with them.
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 be a comfortable part of your day to day life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will occur. Wearing them every day is essential to make that transition work.
Before long all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.