Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair 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 somewhat concerned that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ear canal, particularly since she’s never been a big fan of earbuds or earplugs.
Tanya’s worries are not unique. Fit and overall comfort are concerns for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to turn up the TV so loud that it irritates her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people experience them as a little bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. Initial comfort levels will vary because, like many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But as time passes, you’ll become accustomed to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Knowing that these adjustments are coming can help alleviate some of the stress. Knowing what you should expect can help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
There are two stages to your adjustment:
- Becoming accustomed to an increased quality of sound: In some instances, it may be the sound quality that you have to adjust to. For most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for some time, it will probably take some time to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. When you begin using your hearing aids, it may sound a little loud, or you might hear sounds that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be distracting. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket every time he moved his head. This is not uncommon. In a short period of time, your brain will make the appropriate adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
If either the sound quality or the physical placement of the hearing aids is annoying you, it’s essential to speak with your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your overall comfort and quicken the adjustment period.
How Can I Increase The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Fortunately, there are a few strategies that have proven to be fairly effective over the years.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears comfortably is what hearing aids are made to do. It may take a few consultations with your hearing specialist to get everything functioning 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 quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, might take some time. There are many exercises (reading along with an audiobook or watching TV with the closed captions on) that can help you get better at this a little faster.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you need to wear them all day, every day at first. You can start gradually and build up from there. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Having said that, you’ll want to build up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
Your hearing aids may feel a little uncomfortable 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 daily life. In order to make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them on a daily basis.
Before you know it, you’ll be focusing on is having good conversation with friends.