Wearing hearing aids when you’ve never worn them before will require some adjustments. There is a distinction to make between things you need to get used to and complaints that might indicate the need for adjustments or repair. To help you decide, here is a list of five common complaints from first-time hearing aid users, why they happen and when they are reasons for concern.
The hearing aids are uncomfortable
Having something around or inside your ear will feel strange at first, and may even cause irritation or discomfort. If you’re experiencing discomfort, you should talk to your hearing aid specialist about it. They may recommend a gradual adjustment period – for example, wearing your hearing aids for fewer hours a day and building up to wearing them full time. They will notice if your hearing aids aren’t fitting correctly. With a good fit, you’ll eventually get used to wearing them and will even forget they are in your ears.
Noises sound sharper or tinny
Since higher-pitched sounds are usually the first to deteriorate from gradual hearing loss, they may seem oddly sharp when they’re amplified by hearing aids. Just as your brain has adapted to hearing loss (often over a matter of years), it will need to adjust to hearing sounds it isn’t used to hearing clearly. Just like other sound differences, this is something you’ll adjust to over time.
Your voice sounds loud
If you’ve ever noticed how strange or loud your voice sounds when your ears become partially plugged while sick, you’ve experienced what’s known as the occlusion effect. Wearing a hearing aids will feel similar at first, since your ears are plugged with a hearing aid tip. Just like the feel of the hearing aid, the illusion of loudness is something you will eventually get used to. Most new hearing aid wearers will adjust to this phenomenon in less than a month, and often as quickly as a few weeks. In rare cases, your hearing aid may need to be loosened, so check with your hearing aid specialist just in case.
Background noise seems louder
Although new technology allows some hearing aids to detect and amplify conversation while decreasing background noise, you will still hear some background noise. This is something hearing aid wearers get used to over time. When you’re in an environment with distracting background noise, you may need to temporarily adjust the hearing aid’s volume. If you continue to struggle with background noise, visit your specialist to see if your hearing aid settings need any adjustments.
Knowing the difference between issues that are just a normal part of adjusting to life with hearing aids and those that may require a visit to your hearing aid specialist can save you worry, frustration, money, and most of all – keep you hearing well.
At Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ we carry all of the major hearing aid brands, in all styles and technology levels to fit all budgets. Call us today at 772-286-4327 and schedule your FREE comprehensive hearing evaluation with our Board Certified Hearing Aid and tinnitus Specialist.