Tanya is being fitted for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s somewhat stressed about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ears, particularly since she’s never been a big fan of earplugs or earbuds.
These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Many first-time hearing aid users have doubts about the general fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to turn up the television so loud that it disturbs her family or even the neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some individuals experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first use them. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment time, meaning your early level of comfort will vary. But you will get more comfortable over time as you get used to your hearing aids.
Sometimes it’s just good to recognize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be easier.
There are two stages to your adjustment:
- Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: Your hearing specialist may suggest that you begin slowly wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to get accustomed to the feeling of the device in your ear. That being said, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain due to your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
- Becoming comfortable with an improved sound quality: In some cases, the improvement in sound quality takes some getting used to. If you’re like most people, you put off on getting hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full array of sounds anymore. It may sound a little loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. Initially, this can be disruptive. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket when he moved his head. This is normal. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
If either the quality of sound or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is bothering you, it’s important to consult your hearing specialist about adjustments to enhance your overall comfort and advance the period of adjustment.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few techniques that have worked fairly well.
- Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, may take a while. There are many practices (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions on) that can help you get the hang of this a little more quickly.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears well. It may take a few visits with your hearing specialist to get everything functioning and just the right fit. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you might want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: You don’t have to wear your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week right away. You can gradually work your way up to it. From one to four hours every day is a great way to begin. That said, you’ll want to work up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might 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 everyday life. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition happen.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.