Woman getting a hearing aid fitting.

Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s causing her some level anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat concerned 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 earbuds or earplugs.

Tanya’s worries are not unusual. Fit and general comfort are worries for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. She’s anticipating hearing her son’s jokes and listening to her TV at a level That won’t cause trouble with the neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?

How to Adapt When You First Use Your Hearing Aids

So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some people experience them as a little bit uncomfortable at first. Initial levels of comfort will vary because, like many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But you will get more comfortable after a while as you get used to your hearing aids.

Sometimes it’s just good to recognize that these adjustments are will happen. Knowing what you should expect can help you acclimate to your hearing aids in a sustainable, healthy, and comfortable way.

Adjusting to your hearing aid has two phases:

  • Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some instances, it might be the sound quality that you have to adjust to. If you’re like most people, you waited to get hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a complete array of sounds anymore. When you first start using your hearing aids, it might sound a little loud, or you might hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be annoying. For instance, one patient complained that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This is normal. In a short period of time, your brain will make the required adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
  • Adapting to the feeling of a hearing aid: There might be some slight physical discomfort when you first begin wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may suggest you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there should not be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain due to your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
  • In order to improve your overall comfort and hasten the adjustment period, talk to your hearing specialist if you’re experiencing trouble with the physical positioning 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 successful over the years.

    • Start slow: You don’t have to wear your hearing aids every day from morning till night when you first get them. You can build up to that. From one to four hours per day is a good way to start. Inevitably, you will be wearing your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
    • Get the right fit: Hearing aids are made to fit your ears well. It could take several appointments with your hearing specialist to get everything working and just the right fit. You might also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.
    • Practice: The world might sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adapting to sound, particularly speech, could take some time. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are a number of exercises you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.

    Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable

    For the first few days or weeks, there may be some discomfort with your hearing aids. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will become a comfortable part of your everyday life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will happen. Wearing them every day is essential to make that transition happen.

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

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    The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.