Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair of hearing aids. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Her anxiety isn’t actually that bad. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s a little concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ears, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s concerns are not unique. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have doubts about the comfort and overall fit of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to use her hearing aid. She’s anticipating hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her TV at a level That won’t cause trouble with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?
Adjusting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some individuals experience them as a little bit uncomfortable at first. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment time, meaning your initial level of comfort will fluctuate. But over time, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
At times it’s just good to know that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be easier.
Adjusting to your hearing aid has two phases:
- Becoming accustomed to a higher quality of sound: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes some adjusting to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will probably take a while to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. It may sound a little loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. Initially, this can be annoying. For example, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This is normal. In a short period of time, your brain will make the appropriate adjustments to sounds it doesn’t need to hear.
- Getting used to a hearing aid in your ear: There could be some moderate physical discomfort when you first start to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may recommend you initially wear your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there should not be any pain involved. You should contact your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
In order to enhance your general comfort and quicken the adjustment period, consult your hearing specialist if you are experiencing trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.
How Can I Enhance The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Over the years, fortunately, there are a few strategies that have worked fairly well.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are made to do. It might take several appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything working and fitting just right. And for optimal effectiveness and comfort, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to wear them all day, every day right off the bat. You can take your time and work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for a couple to a few hours a day. With that being said, you’ll want to work up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
- Practice: The world may sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. And it may take a while for your ears to adjust, particularly when it comes to speech. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are numerous exercises you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be a little discomfort with your hearing aids. But the faster you adapt to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your daily life. In order to really make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them every day.
Soon all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.