Tanya is being fitted for a new set of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And it’s causing her some anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat worried that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo inside of her ears, particularly since she’s never been a huge fan of earbuds or earplugs.
Tanya’s concerns are not unique. Many first-time hearing aid users have doubts 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 up the TV so loud that it irritates her family or even her neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?
How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some individuals experience them as a little bit uncomfortable at first. Initial levels of comfort will vary because, like many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But over time, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
At times it’s just nice to recognize that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.
There are two stages to your adjustment:
- Adapting to the feeling of a hearing aid: Your hearing specialist may recommend that you begin gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can have a little time to get accustomed to the feeling of the device in your ear. However, there should not be any pain involved. You should get in touch with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
If either the sound quality or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s important to talk to your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your all-around comfort and advance the adjustment period.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Over the years, fortunately, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.
- Practice: The world may sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, specifically speech, might take a while. There are many practices (reading along with an audiobook or watching TV with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get the hang of this a little more quickly.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears well. It may take a few appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything working and fitting just right. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you might want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you need to wear them all day, every day at first. You can take your time and work your way up to it. From one to four hours per day is a good way to start. Having said that, you’ll want to build up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
Your hearing aids might feel a little uncomfortable 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. In order to really make that transition, it’s critical that you wear them on a daily basis.
Pretty soon, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.