Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s the reason for some anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t actually that bad. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat stressed that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ears, particularly because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.
These concerns are not unique to Tanya. Fit and general comfort are doubts for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to turn the television up so loud that it irritates her family or even the neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some people experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. Early comfort levels will vary because, like many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But over time, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Often it’s just good to know that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.
Adjusting to your hearing aid has two parts:
- Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: There could be some minor physical discomfort when you first start to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may suggest you initially wear your hearing aids for only part of the day. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should consult with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
- Becoming comfortable with an increased quality of sound: In some instances, it may be the sound quality that you have to adapt to. For most people who have been coping with hearing loss for some time, it will most likely take a while to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. When you first start using your hearing aids, it may sound a bit loud, or you might hear sounds that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be distracting. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat when he moved his head. This is typical. In a short period of time, your brain will make the necessary adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
In order to improve your overall comfort and speed up the adjustment period, get in touch with your hearing specialist if you’re experiencing trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Thankfully, there are a few techniques that have proven to be fairly successful over the years.
- Practice: The world might sound just a little bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, could take some time. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are a number of practices you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Start slow: You don’t have to wear your hearing aids every day from morning till night right away. You can gradually work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Inevitably, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you become comfortable with them.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears comfortably. It may take a few visits with your hearing specialist to get everything functioning and fitting just right. You might also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might feel a little uncomfortable for the first few days or weeks. Pretty soon 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. In order to really make that transition, it’s critical that you wear them on a daily basis.
Before long all you will have to think about is what you hear, not how you hear it.