HEARING TIPS

“Woman

Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first pair of hearing aids. And she’s feeling a little anxious. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But hearing aids are new to her, and she’s a little concerned that she will feel uncomfortable with a high tech gadget inside of her ear canal, particularly since she’s never been a big fan of earplugs or earbuds.

These concerns are not unique to Tanya. Fit and general comfort are worries for many first time hearing aid users. Tanya has every intention 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 issues with the neighbors. But will those hearing aids be comfortable?

How to Adapt When You First Wear Your Hearing Aids

So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? Put simply: some people experience them as a bit uncomfortable when they first use them. Early comfort levels will fluctuate because, as with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But you will feel more comfortable in time as you become acquainted with your hearing aids.

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

Adjusting to your hearing aid has two phases:

  • Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: There might be some moderate physical discomfort when you first begin wearing your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist may suggest you initially wear your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there shouldn’t 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 you can.
  • Adjusting to the enhanced sound quality: In some cases, the improvement in sound quality takes a little getting used to. For most people who have been dealing with hearing loss for a long time, it will likely take some time to get used to hearing a full range of sound. It might sound a little loud at first or there could be frequencies of sound your not used to hearing. At first, this can be disruptive. For example, one patient complained 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 tune in to.
  • In order to better your overall comfort and speed up the adjustment period, speak with your hearing specialist if you are having trouble with the physical placement 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 fairly successful over the years.

    • Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel as if you need to wear them all day, every day right away. You can gradually work your way up to it. Begin by wearing your hearing aid for one to four hours a day. With that being said, you’ll want to work up to wearing 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 obviously 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 be certain everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you may want to think about a custom fit hearing aid.
    • Practice: The world might sound quite a bit different once you get your hearing aids. And it could take a while for your ears to adapt, particularly when it comes to the spoken word. 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.

    You’re Hearing Aids Can be 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 critical to make that transition work.

    Pretty soon, you’ll be thinking about is having good conversation with friends.

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