Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s causing her some level anxiety. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo inside of her ear canal, especially since she’s never been a big fan of earplugs or earbuds.
These concerns are not only felt by Tanya. Fit and general comfort are worries for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every intention of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank the TV up so loud that it disturbs her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?
Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some individuals experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first use them. Initial levels of comfort will vary because, as with many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But after a while, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.
Knowing that these adjustments will happen can help ease some of the stress. Knowing what you should expect can help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.
Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two parts:
- Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some cases, it might be the sound quality that you need to adapt 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 assortment of sound. When you first start using your hearing aids, it may sound a little bit loud, or you may hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. In the beginning, this can be slightly distracting. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat whenever he moved his head. This is not abnormal. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
If either the quality of sound or the physical placement of the hearing aids is bothering you, it’s critical to consult your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your general comfort and progress the adjustment period.
Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?
Fortunately, there are a few techniques that have proven to be rather effective over the years.
- Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears comfortably. It might take several consultations with your hearing specialist to get everything functioning and fitting just right. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
- Practice: The world may sound just a little bit different after you get your hearing aids. And it could take some time for your ears to adapt, especially when it comes to the spoken word. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are lots of practices you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- 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 right off the bat. You can gradually work your way up to it. From one to four hours every day is a good way to begin. Inevitably, you will be wearing your hearing aids all day, when you become comfortable with them.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
Your hearing aids may feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. But the faster you adapt to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your day to day life. Wearing them on a daily basis is critical to make that transition work.
Soon all you will have to consider is what you hear, not how you hear it.