Tanya is sitting with her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first pair of hearing aids. And it’s the reason for some level anxiety. Not, you know, a lot 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 ear canal, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.
Tanya’s concerns are not unique. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have doubts about the overall fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to use 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 fit her ears comfortably?
How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids
So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first use them. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period, meaning your initial level of comfort will vary. But you will become more comfortable in time as you get acquainted with your hearing aids.
Knowing that these adjustments will occur can help relieve some of the anxiety. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be easier.
There are two phases to your adjustment:
- Becoming comfortable with a higher quality of sound: In some instances, it might be the sound quality that you have to adjust to. For most people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will most likely take a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. It might sound a bit loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. Initially, this can be somewhat 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.
If either the quality of sound or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is annoying you, it’s critical to speak with your hearing specialist about adjustments to help improve your all-around comfort and advance the adjustment period.
How Can I Increase The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?
Thankfully, there are a few techniques that have proven to be rather successful over the years.
- Practice: The world may sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, could take some time. In order to get the hang of it more quickly, there are lots of practices you can do like watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.
- Start slow: You don’t have to use your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at first. You can build up to that. From one to four hours per day is a good way to start. With that being said, you’ll want to work up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
- Get the right fit: Fitting your ears comfortably is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll obviously want to talk about 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 properly and the fit is just right. And for optimal comfort and effectiveness, you may want to consider a custom fit hearing aid.
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
For the first few days or weeks, there may be a little discomfort with your hearing aids. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will be a comfortable part of your daily life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will occur. In order to really make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them on a daily basis.
Pretty soon, you’ll be focusing on is having good conversation with friends.