Getting hearing aids through an audiologist is the best way for a new hearing aid user to get adjusted to this new experience. As hearing care professionals, we provide a high level of care to users after they receive their hearing aid. We educate our new users so they aren’t surprised by the typical issues that come with using hearing aids for the first time.

Our key message for new users is getting accustomed to using a hearing aid takes time. Just as wearing new shoes can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, starting to use a hearing aid can be a little uncomfortable until you get used to them. Here are tips we give our patients to help them solve common hearing aid problems.

#1 No Sound

I’m a big fan of trying the easiest solutions before we look at more complex ones. That’s why my first suggestion for this problem is to make sure the hearing aid is on. Perhaps you’re laughing at that expert tip. However, new users sometimes turn the device off by mistake while they’re putting it in. Accidentally turning the volume down is another common problem.

If the power is on and the volume is set properly, putting in a fresh battery may get the sound back. If the problem continues, there could be a blockage in the microphone or the receiver. It’s time to gently clean those components as you were shown by your audiologist. The cleaning tools that came with your hearing aid are the only ones you should use.

#2 Uncomfortable Sounds

It’s typical for your own voice and background noises to sound uncomfortably loud when you begin using a hearing aid. It’s temporary. You’re experiencing these uncomfortable sounds because your brain hasn’t adjusted to receiving sound from the hearing aid yet.

Wearing your hearing aids every day for several hours a day makes it easier and faster for your brain to adjust. Also, it’s helpful to take a few minutes each day to read out loud to yourself. After doing that for a few days, hearing your own voice shouldn’t feel uncomfortable any longer.

#3 Whistling and Feedback Issues

It’s startling when you put on your device and immediately hear high-pitched feedback noises that sound like whistling or squealing. Feedback issues frequently result from incorrect placement or the volume being set too high. You usually can resolve feedback problems by taking the hearing aid off and putting it on in the right place or by lowering the volume.

#4 Uncomfortable Fit

Again, it’s normal for your device to feel a little uncomfortable at first. It simply takes time to get used to the sensation of having a hearing aid in your ear. Wearing your hearing aid regularly is the key to getting rid of that uncomfortable sensation.

While slight discomfort is common for new users, hearing aids should never be painful. When you experience pain as soon as you put on your hearing aid, that’s usually a sign the device isn’t in the right place. The pain should go away after you take the device off and properly reinsert it.

We’re available to help anyone who is still experiencing a problem with their hearing aid. Call us to schedule an appointment.

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Dr. Debra L. Hamila, Au.D., CCC/A

Debra Hamila received her master’s degree in audiology from Cleveland State University and her Au.D. from Arizona School of Health Sciences and has been a practicing audiologist for more than 33 years. She has worked in a variety of ENT offices, hospital, and clinical settings.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.