Tanya is being measured for a new set of hearing aids by her hearing specialist. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Not, you know, a lot of anxiety. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gizmo inside of her ears, especially because she’s not a big fan of earpods or earplugs.

Tanya’s concerns are not unusual. Fit and overall comfort are concerns for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya wants to use her hearing aid. Now she won’t need to turn the TV up 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, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some individuals experience them as a bit uncomfortable at first. Early comfort levels will fluctuate because, as with many things in life, there’s a period of adjustment. But you will feel more comfortable in time as you get used to your hearing aids.

Often it’s just good to realize that these adjustments are will happen. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be smoother.

Adapting to your hearing aid has two phases:

  • Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: There could be some slight physical discomfort when you first start wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may 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 speak with your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
  • Becoming comfortable with a higher sound quality: In some cases, the improved sound quality takes some adjusting to. If you’re like the majority of people, you put off on getting hearing aids, and you’re not used to hearing a full array of sounds anymore. It might sound a bit loud at first or there may be frequencies of sound your not accustomed to hearing. At first, this can be disruptive. For instance, one patient complained that he could hear his hair rubbing against his jacket. This is not abnormal. In a short period of time, your brain will make the appropriate adjustments to sounds it doesn’t need to hear.
  • If either the sound quality or the physical positioning of the hearing aids is bothering you, it’s critical to talk to your hearing specialist about adjustments to increase your all-around comfort and quicken the period of adjustment.

    Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?

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

    • Start slow: You don’t need to wear your hearing aids every day from morning till night when you first get them. You can take your time and work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for a couple to a few hours a day. Eventually, you will be using your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
    • 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 see your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to make sure everything is working correctly and the fit is excellent. And for maximum comfort and effectiveness, you might want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
    • Practice: Once have your hearing aids, the world won’t sound quite the same. And it could take some time for your ears to adapt, particularly when it comes to speech. In order to get the hang of it a little more quickly, there are numerous exercises you can do including watching a movie with caption or reading along with an audiobook.

    Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable

    Your hearing aids may feel a little uncomfortable for the first few days or weeks. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will become a comfortable part of your day to day life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will happen. Wearing them every day is crucial to make that transition work.

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

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