HEARING TIPS

“Woman

Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being measured for her very first pair of hearing aids. And it’s the reason for some level anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s a little concerned about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget sitting in her ears, especially since she’s never been a huge fan of earbuds or earplugs.

Tanya’s worries are not unique. Countless first-time hearing aid users have doubts about the comfort and general fit of their hearing aids. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to turn up the television so loud that it bothers her family or even the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?

How to Adjust When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids

So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some people experience them as a bit uncomfortable at first. As with many things in life, there’s an adjustment time, which means your early level of comfort will fluctuate. But you will feel more comfortable after a while as you become accustomed to your hearing aids.

Recognizing that these adjustments are coming can help alleviate some of the concerns. Knowing what to expect will help your adjustment period be easier.

Adjusting to your hearing aid includes two phases:

  • Becoming accustomed to a hearing aid in your ear: There may be some slight physical discomfort when you first start wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist might suggest you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re feeling pain due to your hearing aid, you should certainly speak with your hearing specialist as soon as possible.
  • Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some situations, the improved sound quality takes a little getting used to. For most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for some time, it will most likely take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you begin using your hearing aids, it may sound a little bit loud, or you may hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be slightly distracting. For example, one patient reported that he could hear his hair rubbing against his coat. This is not uncommon. After a few weeks, your brain will filter out the noises you don’t want to pay attention to.
  • In order to better your general comfort and quicken the adjustment period, speak with your hearing specialist if you’re 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 strategies that have proven to be quite successful over the years.

    • Start slow: You don’t need to wear your hearing aids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week right away. You can take your time and work your way up to it. From one to four hours every day is a great way to start. That said, you’ll want to build up to using your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
    • Get the right fit: Fitting your ears well is what hearing aids are made to do. You’ll definitely want to discuss your 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 sure everything is working correctly and the fit is perfect. You may also want to think about a custom fit hearing aid for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
    • Practice: The world might sound just a little bit different once you get your hearing aids. Adjusting to sound, especially speech, might take some time. There are many techniques (reading along with an audiobook or watching your favorite movie with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get better at this a little faster.

    Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable

    Your hearing aids may feel a little uncomfortable for the first few days or weeks. 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 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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