HEARING TIPS

“Woman

Tanya is being fitted for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat stressed that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gadget inside of her ear canal, especially since she’s never been a huge fan of earplugs or earbuds.

These worries are not unique to Tanya. Fit and overall comfort are doubts for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to turn up the television so loud that it disturbs her family or even her neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?

Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time

So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some people find them to be a little bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment time, which means your initial level of comfort will fluctuate. But after a while, you’ll get used to the feeling of your hearing aids and become more comfortable.

Recognizing that these adjustments will occur can help ease some of the concerns. Knowing what to expect will help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.

Adapting to your hearing aid includes two phases:

  • Becoming comfortable with an improved quality of sound: Sometimes, it may 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 likely take some time to get used to hearing a full assortment of sound. It may sound a bit loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. At first, this can be somewhat distracting. For example, one patient complained that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This isn’t uncommon. In a short period of time, your brain will make the required adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
  • Becoming accustomed to a hearing aid in your ear: Your hearing specialist might suggest that you begin gradually wearing your hearing aids so you can take some time to become accustomed to how the device feels in your ear. That being said, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain because of your hearing aid, you should absolutely speak with your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
  • If either the quality of sound or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is disturbing you, it’s critical to talk to your hearing specialist about adjustments to improve your general comfort and quicken the adjustment period.

    How Can I Enhance The Comfort of My Hearing Aids?

    Over the years, fortunately, there are a few strategies that have worked pretty well.

    • Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well is what hearing aids are designed to do. You’ll absolutely want to talk about fit with your hearing specialist right away but you’ll also want to consult your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to be sure everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. You might also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for optimal effectiveness and comfort.
    • Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world isn’t going to sound quite the same. And it could take some time for your ears to adjust, especially when it comes to the spoken word. There are many techniques (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 more quickly.
    • Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you have to wear them all day, every day at first. You can gradually work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Having said that, you’ll want to build up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.

    Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable

    For the first few days or weeks, there might 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 everyday life. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition work.

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

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