Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

“Woman

Tanya is visiting her hearing specialist, being fitted for her very first set of hearing aids. And it’s the reason for some anxiety. Her anxiety isn’t really that bad. But she’s never had to use hearing aids before, and she’s a little concerned that she will be uncomfortable with a high tech gizmo sitting in her ears, especially because she doesn’t really like earpods or earplugs.

Tanya’s concerns are not unique. Fit and overall comfort are worries for many new hearing aid users. Tanya has every desire of wearing her hearing aids. Now she won’t need to crank up the TV so loud that it disturbs her family or even her neighbors. But will those hearing aids be fit her ears comfortably?

How to Adapt When You First Use Your Hearing Aids

So, are hearing aids uncomfortable? The short response is: some people experience them as a little bit uncomfortable at first. Early comfort levels will vary because, as with many things in life, there’s an adjustment period. But you will feel more comfortable over time as you get acquainted with your hearing aids.

Often it’s just nice to know that these adjustments are coming. Knowing what you should expect will help your adjustment period be easier.

There are two stages to your adjustment:

  • Becoming comfortable with an improved sound quality: Sometimes, it might be the sound quality that you need to adapt to. For the majority of people who have been coping with hearing loss for a long time, it will likely take a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound. When you first start using your hearing aids, it may sound a little bit loud, or you may hear noises that you aren’t used to hearing. At first, this can be disruptive. One of our readers complained, for instance, that he could hear his hair scraping against his jacket whenever he moved his head. This isn’t uncommon. In a short period of time, your brain will make the required adjustments to noises it doesn’t need to hear.
  • Adjusting to how your hearing aid feels: There could be some moderate physical discomfort when you first start to wear your hearing aid, and your hearing specialist might recommend you start off wearing your hearing aids for only part of the day. However, there shouldn’t be any pain involved. If you’re experiencing pain because of your hearing aid, you should absolutely speak with your hearing specialist as soon as you can.
  • In order to better your overall comfort and hasten the adjustment period, speak to your hearing specialist if you are experiencing trouble with the physical placement 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 fairly well.

    • Start slow: If you’re breaking in your first pair of hearing aids, you shouldn’t feel like you have to wear them all day, every day right away. You can take your time and work your way up to it. Begin by wearing your hearing aid for a couple to a few hours a day. Ultimately, you will be wearing your hearing aids all day, when you get comfortable with them.
    • Practice: The world may sound just a little bit different once you get your hearing aids. And it may take some time for your ears to adapt, particularly when it comes to speech. There are many techniques (reading along with an audiobook or watching TV with the closed captions turned on) that can help you get better at this a little more quickly.
    • Get the right fit: Fitting your ears properly is what hearing aids are designed 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 certain everything is working properly and the fit is excellent. You may also want to consider a custom fit hearing aid for maximum effectiveness and comfort.

    Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable

    Your hearing aids may feel a little awkward for the first few days or weeks. But the faster you adapt to your new hearing aids, the faster they’ll become a comfortable part of your day to day life. In order to really make that transition, it’s essential that you wear them every day.

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

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