Woman getting a hearing aid fitting.

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 ton of anxiety. But she’s never used hearing aids before, and she’s somewhat stressed about how comfortable she’ll feel with a high tech gadget inside of her ear canal, particularly because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.

These concerns are not unique to Tanya. Lots of first-time hearing aid users have fears about the general fit and comfort of their hearing aids. Tanya wants to use her hearing aid. She’s looking forward to hearing her son’s music and listening to her television at a volume not likely to cause problems with the neighbors. But how comfortable will those hearing aids be?

Adapting to Hearing Aids For The First Time

So, is wearing hearing aids uncomfortable? The short answer is: some people find them to be a little bit uncomfortable when they first wear them. As with lots of things in life, there’s an adjustment time, meaning your early level of comfort will fluctuate. But you will get more comfortable in time as you get accustomed to your hearing aids.

Knowing that these adjustments will happen can help alleviate some of the concerns. Knowing what you should expect can help you get accustomed to your hearing aids in a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable way.

There are two steps to your adjustment:

  • Adapting to how your hearing aid feels: Your hearing specialist may recommend that you start off slowly wearing your hearing aids so you can have a little time to become accustomed to the feeling of the device in your ear. Having said that, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. You should get in touch with your hearing specialist if your hearing aid is causing pain.
  • Adjusting to the improved sound quality: In some cases, the improved sound quality takes a little getting used 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. When you begin wearing your hearing aids, it may sound a little loud, or you might hear frequencies that you aren’t used to hearing. Initially, this can be distracting. One of our readers complained, for example, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket whenever he moved his head. This is not unusual. In a short period of time, your brain will make the required adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
  • In order to enhance your general comfort and speed up the adjustment period, talk to your hearing specialist if you are experiencing trouble with the physical positioning or sound quality of your hearing aids.

    Can I Make my Hearing Aids More Comfortable?

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

    • Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly 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 see your hearing specialist for follow-up fittings to be sure everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. And for maximum effectiveness and comfort, you might want to consider a custom fit hearing aid.
    • Start slow: You don’t need to use your hearing aids every day from morning till night when you first get them. You can gradually work your way up to it. Start by wearing your hearing aid for a couple to a few hours a day. Having said that, you’ll want to work up to wearing your hearing aids all day, but you don’t have to begin there.
    • Practice: The world may sound just a little bit different after you get your hearing aids. And it may take a while for your ears to adjust, particularly when it comes to speech. There are many practices (reading along with an audiobook or watching TV with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get the hang of this a little faster.

    You’re Hearing Aids Can be More Comfortable

    Your hearing aids might feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. Pretty soon you’re hearing aids will be a comfortable part of your everyday life and the sooner you make the adjustments, the sooner this will occur. In order to make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them every day.

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

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