One of the first things people asked when I got my hearing aid was can you hear me now?
Ha. Ha. Ha.
More importantly, their next question was whether it is comfortable to wear. Admittedly this had been a worry for me too in the run-up to having Dana fitted.
You must remember that there are different kinds of hearing aids for different kinds of hearing problems. With this in mind, I can only really answer for the kind that I use.
As far as I can work out, there seem to be three main kinds, the ones that sit behind your ear with a little tube coming down into it; the kind that are plastic moulds which fill your ear; and the really cool but obvious ones which plug into your head somehow. You get tiny little pods that sit in your ear too, for the more self-conscious types out there, but I think you have to buy them privately.
Dana is the first.
She’s a similar colour to my hair and sits just behind my ear with a tube coming down into it and a little bud on the end, not unlike you might find on your earphones.
So is it uncomfortable to get a hearing aid?
Yes and no.
I suppose you could liken it to having an earphone in all the time except that it sits further in.
When I first got her, I was constantly conscious of this weird thing perched in and on my ear. Your body isn’t used to it and so you will be very aware of it at first. Added to that, I found that it made my ear sore to begin with. I’m not sure if it was because my ear wasn’t used to having something in it all the time or whether the sheer level of sound was something that I had forgotten how to process. Perhaps it was a combination but it took a few weeks to get to the point where I didn’t mind having it in all the time.
These days, I’m not sure if I’m wearing it sometimes and have to check that it’s in and on because I’ve grown so used to it. The other day I forgot to take my hearing aid out before washing my hair but thankfully no damage was done.
The answer for Dana then, is yes. She was uncomfortable because I wasn’t used to having her in and I wasn’t sure that I actually liked her. With perseverance, she has become as much an essential part of me as something like getting dressed in the morning or wearing contact lenses, maybe more so because I wear Dana even when I’m chilling in my pyjamas without my glasses. She goes in almost as soon as I get up and doesn’t come out until I’m ready to go to bed.
You may feel a little uncomfortable at first but it’s possible that your ears just need time to adjust to their new assistant. If there is persistent pain or discomfort, or you are worried about it in some way, then I recommend getting it checked just in case.
I hope everything goes smoothly for you and that your new hearing aid soon becomes a natural part of your life, more noticeable by absence than presence.