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 used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget inside of her ear canal, especially because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s worries are not unusual. Fit and overall comfort are concerns for many new hearing aid users. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank up the television 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, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people experience them as a little bit uncomfortable at first. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment time, meaning your initial level of comfort will vary. But after a while, you’ll get used to the feeling of your hearing aids and become more comfortable.
Recognizing 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 has two parts:
- Becoming accustomed to an improved quality of sound: In some cases, the improved sound quality takes a little getting used to. For most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for a long time, it will likely take a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. It might sound a bit loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. Initially, this can be distracting. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat every time he moved his head. This is typical. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
If either the sound quality or the physical placement of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s important to talk to your hearing specialist about adjustments to help improve your overall comfort and progress the period of adjustment.
How Can I Increase The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Over the years, luckily, there are a few techniques that have worked fairly well.
- Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you need to wear them all day, every day at first. You can build up to that. From one to four hours every day is a good way to start. With that being said, you’ll want to build up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
- Practice: Once you get your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. Adjusting to sound, specifically speech, could take some time. 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 better at this a little more quickly.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears comfortably is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll absolutely want to discuss your fit with your hearing specialist right away but you’ll also want to see your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to be certain everything is working correctly and the fit is just right. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you might want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there may be some discomfort with your hearing aids. But the more quickly you adapt to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your day to day life. Wearing them every day is critical to make that transition work.
Pretty soon, you’ll be focusing on is having good conversation with friends.