Tanya is being fitted for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And it’s causing her some anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little concerned that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo inside of her ear canal, especially since she’s never been a huge fan of earplugs or earbuds.
Tanya’s worries are not unique. Many first-time hearing aid users have worries about the comfort and general fit of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to use her hearing aid. She’s anticipating hearing her son’s music and listening to her television at a level That won’t cause trouble with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some people experience them as a little bit uncomfortable when they first use them. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period, which means your initial level of comfort will fluctuate. But in time, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Knowing that these adjustments will happen can help alleviate some of the concerns. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be easier.
There are two phases to your adjustment:
- Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes some adjusting to. If you’re like most people, you waited to get hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full range of sounds anymore. When you first start using your hearing aids, it may sound a little loud, or you might hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be distracting. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket every time he moved his head. This is not uncommon. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
If either the sound quality or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is annoying you, it’s critical to speak to your hearing specialist about adjustments to enhance your general comfort and quicken the period of adjustment.
How Can I Improve The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Thankfully, there are a few techniques that have proven to be quite successful over the years.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll obviously 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 correctly and the fit is excellent. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you have to wear them all day, every day right off the bat. You can build up to that. Start by wearing your hearing aid for a couple to a few hours a day. Eventually, you will be wearing your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, may take some time. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are a number of practices you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
Your hearing aids may feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. But the more quickly you adjust to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your day to day life. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition work.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.