Like a new pair of shoes, new hearing aids that fit well need some getting used to, but poorly-fitted devices will continue to be uncomfortable. 

We want Northern Illinois residents to enjoy the best possible benefits from their hearing aids, so we provide the necessary support you need to become more comfortable with your new hearing aids.

Stay Away from Generic Hearing Aids

Like ill-fitting shoes, purchasing generic, one-size-fits-all, OTC, or online hearing aids has the potential to produce ongoing discomfort. Forcing your ears to conform to this type of hearing aid’s generic shape means that you might never become comfortable with your hearing device. 

In contrast, custom-formed hearing aids fit the unique contours of your ear and ear canal, creating a glove-like fit. They are worth the added expense when it comes to comfort.

The Adjustment Period for Well-Fitted Hearing Aids

Every new hearing aid wearer goes through a period of adjustment, even with well-fitted hearing aids, these adjustments are related to two factors:

  • Adaptations to structural characteristics. A common experience for all new hearing aid wears include muscle and tissue fatigue in and around your ears. It can lead to neck and jaw tension and headaches until your body adapts to the constant contact against your skin and the instrument’s weight.
  • Adaptations to functionality. Sounds, which your brain had been compensating for before your hearing aids, are amplified. Muffled or high pitched sounds like the hum of the refrigerator, street noise, and your own voice are painfully loud for new hearing aid wearers in the beginning.

Overcoming the Discomfort of the Adjustment Period

The long term benefits of hearing aids outweigh the few weeks of discomfort while you work through the adjustment process. We have helped thousands of individuals overcome the discomfort of adjusting to their hearing instruments, providing us insight into proven strategies that overcome the pain of the adjustment period, including:

  • Start with a proper fitting. Even with custom-formed devices, there can be fitting issues. Express any discomfort you experience during the fitting process so you can start with a good fit.
  • Take things slowly. In the beginning, wear your hearing aid until it becomes uncomfortable, and then give your ears a break. Build toward wearing them for more extended periods of time while reducing the number and duration of your breaks until you can wear them all day.
  • Practice in your home first. Sensory overload and unexpected loud noises will hit you hard when you go outside your home. Practice in your before going out and consider reading aloud to yourself to speed up the process.
  • Make use of your support system. Frustration and discouragement are everyday experiences of new hearing aid wearers during the adjustment period. Make use of the support your hearing care provider provides until you are comfortable.

Fox Valley ENT Provides the Support You Need

Saving money on one-size-fits-all hearing aids is not worth the ongoing discomfort you’ll have to endure. Investing in custom-formed instruments provided by Fox Valley ENT Associates not only offers new Northern Illinois hearing aid wearers with a better performing hearing instrument, but we help you to adjust more quickly to your device. 

Besides having the equipment, experience, and expertise to ensure a better fit and greater comfort, we provide plenty of follow-up support while you go through the adjustment process. 

If you or a loved one is struggling to adjust to a new device, please contact our friendly team at the Fox Valley ENT location nearest you.

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Stephanie Gutzmer, AuD.

Dr. Stephanie Gutzmer became interested in audiology during her undergraduate program. She loves that she is able to truly help others and impact patients’ lives by not just improving their hearing but also their quality of life. Her goal as an audiologist is not to just correct a patient’s hearing through amplification, but to also treat the whole individual by building a relationship with each one, improving that person’s ability to communicate, and, therefore, their quality of life. Dr. Gutzmer attained her bachelor of science in biology in 2009 and her doctorate of audiology in 2014. She holds an American Board of Audiology certification. Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys running, yoga, playing the guitar, and spending time with her husband and two children.