Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first set of hearing aids. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s a little stressed about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ear canal, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
These worries 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 has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank up the TV so loud that it disturbs her family or even the neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some individuals experience them as a little bit uncomfortable at first. Initial levels of comfort will vary because, like many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But over time, you’ll become accustomed to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Knowing that these adjustments are coming can help relieve some of the concerns. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.
There are two phases to your adjustment:
- Becoming accustomed to a hearing aid in your ear: There may be some minor physical discomfort when you first start wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist might suggest you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there should not be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain because of your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
- Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some cases, the improved sound quality takes a little adjusting to. For the majority of 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. It may sound a bit loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. At first, this can be slightly distracting. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat when he moved his head. This is not unusual. In a short period of time, your brain will make the necessary adjustments to sounds it doesn’t need to hear.
If either the sound quality or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is annoying you, it’s essential to talk to your hearing specialist about adjustments to increase your all-around comfort and quicken the adjustment period.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.
- Start slow: You don’t have to wear your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at first. You can gradually work your way up to it. Begin by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Eventually, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are designed to fit your ears comfortably. It might take a number of appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything functioning and just the right fit. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you might want to consider a custom fit hearing aid.
- Practice: The world may sound quite a bit different once you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, particularly speech, could take some time. There are many exercises (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions on) that can help you get better at this a little faster.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be some discomfort with your hearing aids. Before long you’re hearing aids will be 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 long all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.