Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first set of hearing aids. And she’s experiencing a little anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. 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 gadget inside of her ears, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Many first-time hearing aid users have fears about the overall fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her TV at a level That won’t cause problems with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
Adjusting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people find them to be a bit uncomfortable at first. Initial levels of comfort will vary because, as with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But in time, you’ll become accustomed to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Recognizing that these adjustments will happen can help alleviate some of the concerns. Knowing what to expect can help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
There are two phases to your adjustment:
- Becoming comfortable with an increased quality of sound: In some cases, the improvement in sound quality takes a little getting used to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for some time, it will probably take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you first start using your hearing aids, it may sound a bit loud, or you might hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be distracting. For instance, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This isn’t uncommon. In a short period of time, your brain will make the required adjustments to sounds it doesn’t need to hear.
- Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: Your hearing specialist may suggest that you start off gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can have a little time to get accustomed to how the device feels in your ear. That being said, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should consult with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
In order to better your general comfort and hasten the adjustment period, consult your hearing specialist if you are experiencing trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, fortunately, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you have to wear them all day, every day at first. You can gradually work your way up to it. From one to four hours per day is a good way to begin. Eventually, you will be wearing your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears properly. It may take a few visits with your hearing specialist to get everything working and just the right fit. You may also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for optimal effectiveness and comfort.
- Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. And it may take some time for your ears to adjust, especially when it comes to speech. There are many techniques (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get better at this a little more quickly.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might 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 happen. In order to make that transition, it’s crucial that you wear them every day.
Soon all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.