HEARING TIPS

“Woman

Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s causing her some anxiety. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s a little concerned that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ear canal, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.

Tanya’s doubts are not unique. Countless first-time hearing aid users have fears about the overall fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to use her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to crank the television up so loud that it bothers her family or even her neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?

How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids

So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some individuals find them to be a little uncomfortable at first. Early comfort levels will vary because, like many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But you will become more comfortable in time as you get acquainted with your hearing aids.

Often it’s just nice to know that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what you should expect will help your adjustment period be easier.

Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two phases:

  • Adjusting to the feeling of a hearing aid: There might be some slight physical discomfort when you first start to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist might suggest you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re feeling pain because of your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
  • Becoming comfortable with an increased quality of sound: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes a little adjusting to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will probably take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you begin wearing your hearing aids, it may sound a little bit loud, or you might hear sounds that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be disruptive. For instance, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This is not abnormal. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
  • In order to improve your general comfort and hasten the adjustment period, get in touch with your hearing specialist if you are having trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.

    How Can I Increase The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?

    Over the years, fortunately, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.

    • Start slow: You don’t need to wear your hearing aids 24/7 when you first get them. You can build up to that. From one to four hours per day is a good way to start. That said, you’ll want to build up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
    • Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, may take a while. There are many techniques (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 faster.
    • Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll definitely want to talk about fit with your hearing specialist right off the bat, but you’ll also want to see your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to make sure everything is working correctly and the fit is perfect. You might also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for optimal effectiveness and comfort.

    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 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 crucial to make that transition work.

    Before long all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.

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