When starting with new hearing aids, expect to go through an adjustment period. As with getting used to new sounds, the ears also need to acclimate to the physical presence of the new devices. Some fine-tuning of the fitting may be necessary in the beginning to achieve the right fit. Properly fit hearing aids should not hurt your ears. They should be comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis.
There are a couple of reasons that your hearing aids may cause discomfort. All of them would be best dealt with by requesting help from your hearing care provider.
Here are some common causes of ear discomfort that your provider can check for:
- Ear infections and/or itching.
Ear infections can occur for a number of reasons - but for people who wear hearing aids, they are generally caused by not regularly disinfecting your devices.
Disinfecting should be done on a daily basis. The reason for this is simply that ears can become infected very easily, and your hearing aid is an easy vehicle for transferring bacteria into your ear canal.
Wiping with a cloth is not adequate to disinfect the aids - we recommend using towelettes designed for hearing devices for best results. They are an affordable and highly effective tool to reduce the risk of unwanted ear infections.
If you DO have an ear infection, your hearing care professional may refer you to a physician for treatment.
- Improper insertion
A pair of hearing aids should fit like a comfortable pair of shoes. They should not rub, hurt or cause an ache of any sort.
If one or both of your hearing aids are causing discomfort, it could be because you aren’t inserting them at the proper angle. Custom-molded hearing aids have to be seated in just the right spot for good fit and sound; your provider can coach you on tips for getting optimal insertion. Non-custom hearing aids may be modified with different size or shape wires and/or eartips to increase your ease of insertion, comfort for wear, and retention of the devices.
Stop in and see your hearing care professional to show them what you are doing, and they can help you adjust.
- Lack of professional fitting service
Hearing aids will fit poorly if not fit professionally and in-person. If you are using an over-the-counter device, a PSAP (personal sound amplification product), a mail-order device, or one that was inherited from another individual-- it may fit incorrectly.
The ears are very sensitive, and can develop soreness from pressure points. This may be because wires are too long or short, eartips are too large or small, or because of the size/shape of the device behind the ear. These instruments may cause pain AND are most notable for providing inappropriate levels of amplification.
This is why being seen but a professional and ensuring a proper fit is such an important part of the process.
- Changes in your physical anatomy
Often times, a large change in body weight causes a change in the characteristics of the ear canals. Other physical changes such as surgeries or injuries near the ears can do the same. On occasion, dental issues can cause changes to the ear shape as well. If soreness from the hearing aids arises after such events, they can be re-molded or re-fitted to accommodate you and fit comfortably again. Make an appointment with your provider to work through it.
Your hearing care provider genuinely wants you to hear well, and do it comfortably. They are more than happy to make adjustments and help you get a good fit for you.
Schedule an appointment today!
Come find out what Family Audiology can offer.
Stop in and have a chat with us. The difficulties you are experiencing just might be treatable, but you can’t know until you determine the underlying causes.