Tanya is being fitted for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And it’s the reason for some anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little worried about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ear canal, particularly because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s concerns are not unique. Fit and overall comfort are doubts for many new hearing aid users. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s music and listening to her TV at a level not likely to cause trouble with the neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some people find them to be a little uncomfortable at first. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment time, which means your initial level of comfort will fluctuate. But after a while, you’ll become accustomed to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Sometimes it’s just nice to recognize that these adjustments are will happen. Knowing what you should expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two parts:
- Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some situations, the improvement in sound quality takes some getting used to. If you’re like most people, you waited to get hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full range of sounds anymore. It may sound a bit loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. At first, this can be slightly distracting. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket every time he moved his head. This is typical. In a short period of time, your brain will make the appropriate adjustments to sounds it doesn’t need to hear.
- Adjusting to how your hearing aid feels: Your hearing specialist might suggest that you begin gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to get accustomed to how the device feels in your ear. Even so, there should not be any pain involved. If you’re feeling pain due to your hearing aid, you should definitely talk to your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
If either the quality of sound or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is bothering you, it’s important to talk to your hearing specialist about adjustments to increase your overall comfort and quicken the adjustment period.
How Can I Increase The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Over the years, fortunately, there are a few strategies that have worked fairly well.
- Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. And it might take some time for your ears to adapt, especially when it comes to the spoken word. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are a number of exercises you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Start slow: You don’t need to wear your hearing aids every day from morning till night when you first get them. You can take your time and work your way up to it. From one to four hours per day is a great way to begin. That said, you’ll want to build up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well is what hearing aids are made to do. You’ll definitely 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 sure everything is working correctly and the fit is just right. And for optimal effectiveness and comfort, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. Before long you’re hearing aids will become a comfortable part of your day to day life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will occur. Wearing them on a daily basis is essential to make that transition happen.
Pretty soon, you’ll be focusing on is having good conversation with friends.