Hearing Health Blog

“Woman

Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s the reason for some level anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little worried that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gadget sitting in her ears, especially since she’s never been a huge fan of earplugs or earbuds.

Tanya’s concerns are not unique. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have fears about the general fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. She’s anticipating hearing her son’s music and listening to her television at a level not likely to cause problems with the neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?

Adjusting to Hearing Aids For The First Time

So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some individuals find them to be a little bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. Initial levels of comfort will fluctuate because, as with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But over time, you’ll get used to the feeling of your hearing aids and become more comfortable.

At times it’s just good to know that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what you should expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.

There are two stages to your adjustment:

  • Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some cases, it may be the sound quality that you need to adjust to. If you’re like the majority of people, you waited to get hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a complete array of sounds anymore. When you first start wearing your hearing aids, it might sound a little bit loud, or you might hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be annoying. For example, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This is normal. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
  • Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: There could be some moderate 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. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should talk to your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
  • If either the quality of sound or the physical placement of the hearing aids is annoying you, it’s important to consult your hearing specialist about adjustments to enhance your overall comfort and advance the adjustment period.

    How Can I Enhance The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?

    Fortunately, there are a few strategies that have proven to be fairly effective over the years.

    • Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you have to wear them all day, every day at first. You can take your time and work your way up to it. Begin by wearing your hearing aid for a couple to a few hours a day. Inevitably, you will be wearing your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
    • Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well is what hearing aids are made to do. It could take a few appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything working and fitting just right. You may also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
    • Practice: The world might sound just a little bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, might take a while. There are many practices (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 faster.

    You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable

    For the first few days or weeks, there may 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 every day is critical to make that transition work.

    Before long all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.

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