We are all familiar with the initial discomfort of a new pair of shoes.
The right fit in the store tends to disappear as we go through the process of breaking them in, but the wrong fit will never stop giving you fits.
New hearing aids are the same as a new pair of shoes; a device properly fitted to your ear will take some practice to get used to it, and a poorly fitted device will continue to cause discomfort.
We are here to support our Michigan and Ohio clients with some practical tips to help make your hearing aids more comfortable.
Avoid OTC Hearing Aids
The best way to start of is to avoid purchasing OTC or online hearing aids that are one-size-fits-all.
Forcing the tissues of your ear canal to conform to the generic shape of the hearing aid is bound to cause the same type of discomfort as a pair of shoes that are too small.
Hearing aids that are custom-formed to the unique contours of your ears and ear canals are a bit more expensive but highly worth the added cost over the long term.
Well-Fitted Hearing Aids Require an Adjustment Period
Just like a new pair of shoes that fit properly when you leave the store, every new hearing aid wearer goes through the two elements involved in adjusting to their new device, which includes:
- Adjusting to its unique structural characteristics. New hearing aid wearers experience muscle and tissue fatigue in and around their ears. This fatigue often leads to neck and jaw tension and headaches as your body gets used to the instrument’s weight and constant contact with the skin’s surface.
- Adjusting to its functionality. Your brain goes through a period of shock when sounds to which it has had to previously compensate are suddenly amplified. The amplification of sounds that have been muffled or absent, like the hum of the refrigerator, street noise, and your own voice, is painfully loud in the early stages of wearing new hearing aids.
Strategies for Making the Adjustment Period Easier
Though getting used to new hearing aids is an uncomfortable process, the long-term benefits of using hearing aids far outweigh those few weeks of initial discomfort.
We have helped thousands of individuals through the process of adjusting to their hearing instruments, which has provided some insight into strategies that make the adjustment period easier, like:
- Get a good fit. Errors occur in the process of custom-forming your device. Be honest with your care provider if the unit simply doesn’t feel right during the fitting process.
- Start slow. Wear the device until it causes discomfort, and then take a break, allowing your body some time to rest. Build up slowly to longer wearing time with fewer and shorter break times until you can wear them all day.
- Practice at home before going out. Avoid the discomfort of unexpected loud noises and sensory overload by getting used to your device at home before going out. To speed up the adjustment process, consider reading aloud to yourself.
- Seek the support of your hearing care provider. Discomfort and troubleshooting during adjustment cause discouragement and frustration. The support of your hearing care provider is an important part of easing the process.
Beltone Ensures a Better Fit and Greater Comfort
Rather than saving a buck with a one-size-fits-all hearing aid, eliminate most of the discomfort by investing in a custom-formed instrument.
Beltone provides better-fitting, more comfortable custom-formed hearing aids throughout Michigan and Ohio.
We have the equipment, experience, and expertise to ensure a better fit and greater comfort, as well as providing the necessary support to help you through the adjustment process.
If you or a loved one is struggling with the discomfort or distress of adjusting to your new device, contact us to receive the support you need.