If you have a hearing impairment, you may have experienced unpleasant accompanying side effects, which can drastically reduce your quality of life. Hearing loss impacts your lifestyle and your physical and mental health and is even linked to cognitive decline.

According to a study done by the National Institute of Health, people with hearing loss struggle to recognize and understand challenging speech, which exerts undue strain on the brain as it tries to process the sounds.

Getting help for your hearing with hearing aids can empower you to enjoy your life the way you want. Hearing aids have also been associated with increased earning power for obvious reasons: effective communication is crucial to a successful and positive work experience.

With superior technology and many styles to choose from – Behind-The-Ear, In-The-Ear, Receiver-In-The-Canal, In-The-Canal, and Completely-In-The-Canal– you get the opportunity to go about your life while minimizing any communication challenges.

You may wonder what to expect when you first start using hearing aids.

Sometimes the issue is related to a low-quality device (we hear many horror stories about mail-order hearing aids!). Still, even with the best hearing aids available, you may notice some common initial side effects:

1. Hyper Awareness of New Sounds

Did your jacket always rustle like that? Or your footsteps echo down the hallway like that? Or silverware clanking sharply in the kitchen? You may also hear your voice in your head differently.

In addition to clearer speech, you will also notice many more environmental sounds. Keep in mind that it is normal for things to be abnormal at first – your brain needs time to adjust to all of these new sounds that you haven’t been hearing.

Some people report headaches or fatigue in rare cases, which we handle with programming adjustments or easing into using for more hours per day.

2. Itchy Ear Canals

Just as you get used to wearing any new accessory, like a watch, the feeling and sensation of something in your ears is new, which can cause itching.

Often this fades within the first couple of days to a week. If not, we recommend certain products to help relieve the itch. You should not push through extreme discomfort or pain; call your audiologist if you are experiencing this!

3. Excessive Feedback

It is normal to hear some feedback when you are learning to put your hearing aids incorrectly. Feedback is caused by sound leaking out of the ear canal, being picked up by the hearing aid microphone again, and re-amplified.

You should NOT hear any feedback if your hearing aid is properly inserted in your ear. If you are, call your audiologist to establish the cause and resolve it so that you can enjoy the quality device performance you expect.

We Can Help You Adjust to Your New Hearing Aids

If you or your loved one is having issues adjusting to your new device, talk to us and let us help you find a suitable solution.

As always, your hearing health is important to us. Call us now or fill out this form, and we will call you back.   

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Ariel Fruendt, Au.D.

I went to school at Northwestern University for my undergraduate degree and Au.D. I completed my clinical externship at UCSF Medical Center, then worked in private practice. We moved to Chicago for my husband’s job and I worked in private practice there before joining the clinical faculty at Northwestern University’s on-campus clinic. I served as a preceptor for Au.D. students, focusing on adult diagnostics and treatment, tinnitus management, and hearing conservation. I also taught ethics in audiology courses and oversaw an amplification lecture series. My favorite thing about Pacific Hearing Service is the dynamic and supportive team environment that always puts the patient first, with dedication to using evidence-based practice in our everyday protocols.