Tanya is being fitted for a new pair of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And it’s the reason for some level anxiety. Not, you know, a ton of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little stressed about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget sitting in her ear canal, especially since she’s never been a big fan of earbuds or earplugs.

Tanya’s worries are not unique. Fit and general comfort are concerns for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya wants to wear her hearing aid. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s music and listening to her television at a level not likely to cause problems with the neighbors. But how comfortable are those hearing aids going to be?

How to Adjust When You First Use Your Hearing Aids

So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people find them to be a little bit uncomfortable when they first use them. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment period, which means your initial level of comfort will fluctuate. But you will get more comfortable over time as you become accustomed to your hearing aids.

Knowing that these adjustments will occur can help relieve some of the anxiety. Knowing what you should expect will help your adjustment period be easier.

There are two phases to your adjustment:

  • Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: Sometimes, it might be the sound quality that you need to adapt to. If you’re like most people, you waited to get hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full range of sounds anymore. It may sound a bit loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. At first, this can be annoying. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his coat every time he moved his head. This is not abnormal. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to tune in to.
  • Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: There might be some slight physical discomfort when you first begin wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist might recommend you initially wear your hearing aids for only part of the day. Even so, there should not be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain due to your hearing aid, you should definitely talk to your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
  • In order to improve your general comfort and hasten the adjustment period, speak with your hearing specialist if you are having trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.

    Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?

    Thankfully, there are a few techniques that have proven to be quite successful over the years.

    • Practice: The world might sound quite a bit different after you get your hearing aids. Adapting to sound, specifically speech, may take a while. There are many techniques (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions on) that can help you get the hang of this a little faster.
    • Start slow: You don’t have to wear your hearing aids 24/7 when you first get them. You can start gradually and build up from there. Start by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. Eventually, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
    • Get the right fit: Hearing aids are designed to fit your ears properly. You’ll absolutely want to discuss your fit with your hearing specialist right away but you’ll also want to consult your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to be certain everything is working correctly and the fit is perfect. 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 some discomfort with your hearing aids. But the more quickly you adjust to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your everyday life. Wearing them on a daily basis 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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