Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s the reason for some anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. 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 inside of her ears, particularly because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s worries are not unusual. Countless first-time hearing aid users have fears about the overall fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. She’s anticipating hearing her son’s music and listening to her television at a volume not likely to cause problems with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?
Adjusting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some individuals experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first use them. Initial comfort levels will vary because, as with many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But you will get more comfortable over time as you become accustomed to your hearing aids.
Sometimes it’s just good to recognize that these adjustments are will happen. Knowing what you should expect can help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.
There are two stages to your adjustment:
- Becoming accustomed to a higher quality of sound: In some instances, it may be the sound quality that you need to adjust to. For most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for a long time, it will most likely take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. It may sound a little loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. In the beginning, this can be rather distracting. For instance, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This is normal. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
In order to improve your overall comfort and quicken the adjustment period, consult your hearing specialist if you’re experiencing trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.
- Start slow: You don’t need to wear your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week right away. You can take your time and work your way up to it. From one to four hours per day is a great way to start. Eventually, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are made to do. It might take a few appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything working and fitting just right. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you may want to consider a custom fit hearing aid.
- Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, particularly speech, may take a while. 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 faster.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
Your hearing aids may feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. Before long 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. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition happen.
Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.