Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair of hearing aids. And she’s experiencing a little anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t really 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 gadget inside of her ear canal, especially because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s concerns are not unusual. Lots of 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. Now she won’t need to turn up the TV so loud that it disturbs her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some individuals find them to be a little uncomfortable at first. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period, meaning your initial level of comfort will fluctuate. But after a while, you’ll get used to the feeling of your hearing aids and become more comfortable.
Knowing that these adjustments will occur can help relieve some of the concerns. Knowing what you should expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
Adapting to your hearing aid includes two parts:
- Becoming comfortable with an increased quality of sound: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes some adjusting to. For most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for some time, it will most likely take some time to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. When you begin using your hearing aids, it might sound a bit loud, or you may hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be disruptive. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket whenever he moved his head. This is typical. In a short period of time, your brain will make the appropriate adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
If either the quality of sound or the physical placement of the hearing aids is bothering you, it’s critical to speak with your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your all-around comfort and advance the period of adjustment.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, fortunately, there are a few techniques that have worked fairly well.
- Practice: The world might sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, particularly speech, might take some time. There are many techniques (reading along with an audiobook or watching TV with the closed captions on) that can help you get better at this a little faster.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll absolutely want to discuss your fit with your hearing specialist right off the bat, but you’ll also want to consult your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to make certain everything is working correctly and the fit is excellent. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you might want to consider a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: You don’t need to use your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week when you first get them. You can gradually work your way up to it. From one to four hours per day is a great way to start. Eventually, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there might be some discomfort with your hearing aids. Pretty soon 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 occur. In order to really make that transition, it’s crucial that you wear them every day.
Soon all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.