Many people wear hearing aids. While some people adjust to life with a hearing aid immediately, others take a little time to get used to the new feelings and sounds associated with a hearing aid.

When you first put on one or a pair of hearing aids, be ready to hear ambient noises that you may not have been able to hear before, such as clocks ticking, traffic noise, footsteps, and people talking at a distance.  You may also hear your own voice differently or more strongly hear internal noises, such as chewing and swallowing.

Talk with your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor about a breaking-in period, where you wear the hearing aid for just an hour or two each day, then slowly increase the usage until you’re wearing it all the time. This can help your brain to get used to hearing ambient noises again and help it to naturally filter out the noises that it isn’t used to hearing, like the hum of electrical appliances. Try to start in quiet places, such as a library, and avoid crowded or noisy places until you’re used to the sound level.

The sensation of the hearing aid itself may also get some getting used to. Hearing aids vary considerably in size and shape, with larger models hooking around the back of the ear and smaller in-ear models that fit completely in the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models can get in the way during phone use, and in-the-ear models can make the ear feel plugged or stuffed-up. Your hearing aid should not cause pain, however. Some slight tenderness is common within the first week of a new hearing aid, especially if you have an in-ear model.

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