“Woman

Tanya is being measured for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s experiencing a little anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat worried that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gadget inside of her ears, particularly because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.

These worries are not only felt by Tanya. Fit and general comfort are worries for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to crank up the television so loud that it irritates her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?

Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time

So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Simply put: some individuals experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. Early comfort levels will vary because, as with many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But as time passes, you’ll get used to how your hearing aids feel and become more comfortable.

Knowing that these adjustments are coming can help relieve some of the stress. Knowing what you should expect will help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.

Adapting to your hearing aid has two parts:

  • Adjusting to the feeling of a hearing aid: Your hearing specialist may suggest that you start off gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to get accustomed to how the device feels in your ear. Even so, there should not be any pain involved. You should talk with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
  • Becoming accustomed to an increased sound quality: Sometimes, it might 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 probably take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you begin using your hearing aids, it might sound a little bit loud, or you might hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be slightly distracting. For instance, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This is not unusual. After a few weeks, your brain will block out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
  • In order to enhance your general comfort and speed up the adjustment period, speak to your hearing specialist if you are experiencing trouble with the physical placement or sound quality of your hearing aids.

    Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?

    Fortunately, there are a few strategies that have proven to be rather effective over the years.

    • Start slow: You don’t need to wear your hearing aids every day from morning till night at first. You can gradually work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. With that being said, you’ll want to work up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to start there.
    • 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 off the bat, but you’ll also want to consult your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to make certain everything is working correctly and the fit is excellent. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you might want to consider a custom fit hearing aid.
    • Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. Adapting to sound, especially speech, might take a while. There are many practices (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions on) that can help you get better at this a little faster.

    Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable

    For the first few days or weeks, there may be a little 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 everyday life. In order to really make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them on a daily basis.

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

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