Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair of hearing aids. And it’s causing her some level anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t actually 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, especially because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Countless first-time hearing aid users have concerns about the general fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to use her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to crank up the television so loud that it bothers her family or even her neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?
How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some people experience them as a little bit uncomfortable when they first use them. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment time, which means your initial level of comfort will vary. But as time passes, you’ll become accustomed to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Sometimes it’s just nice to realize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
Adapting to your hearing aid has two parts:
- Adapting to the feeling of a hearing aid: Your hearing specialist may suggest that you start off gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to get accustomed 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 talk to your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
- Becoming comfortable with an increased quality of sound: In some cases, the improvement in sound quality takes a little adjusting to. If you’re like most people, you put off on getting hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a complete array of sounds anymore. When you first start using your hearing aids, it may sound a little bit loud, or you may hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be disruptive. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat whenever he moved his head. This is typical. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
In order to improve your overall comfort and speed up the adjustment period, speak with your hearing specialist if you’re having trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Fortunately, there are a few techniques that have proven to be quite effective over the years.
- Practice: The world may sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. And it could take a while for your ears to adapt, especially when it comes to the spoken word. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are lots of exercises you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll definitely want to talk about fit with your hearing specialist right off the bat, but you’ll also want to see your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to be sure everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. You may also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for optimal comfort and effectiveness.
- Start slow: You don’t have to wear your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week right away. You can build up to that. From one to four hours every day is a good way to begin. 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.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
Your hearing aids may feel a little uncomfortable for the first few days or weeks. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will be a comfortable part of your everyday life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will occur. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition work.
Soon all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.