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 actually that bad. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat concerned that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gadget inside of her ear canal, especially since she’s never been a huge fan of earbuds or earplugs.
Tanya’s doubts are not unique. Countless first-time hearing aid users have concerns about the general fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank the television up so loud that it disturbs 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? Put simply: some individuals find them to be a little bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period, meaning your initial level of comfort will fluctuate. But you will become more comfortable over time as you become accustomed to your hearing aids.
At times it’s just nice to recognize that these adjustments are will happen. Knowing what to expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
There are two steps to your adjustment:
- Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: 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 a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you begin using your hearing aids, it might sound a little 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 not abnormal. In a short period of time, your brain will make the required adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
If either the sound quality 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 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 quite effective over the years.
- Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. And it might take a while for your ears to adapt, particularly when it comes to speech. 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 the hang of this a little more quickly.
- Start slow: You don’t have to wear your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week when you first get them. You can start gradually and build up from there. From one to four hours per day is a great way to begin. Having said that, you’ll want to build up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears comfortably is what hearing aids are designed to do. It might take a number of visits with your hearing specialist to get everything working and fitting just right. And for maximum comfort and effectiveness, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. Before long 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. Wearing them on a daily basis is crucial to make that transition work.
Soon all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.