Embracing the world of sound with new hearing aids (such as hearing aids with AI) can be an exciting and transformative experience. These technological marvels have the potential to enhance your hearing abilities and reconnect you with the vibrant tapestry of everyday sounds.

However, as with any adjustment period, it’s important to be aware of the potential hearing aid side effects that may arise during the initial stages of wearing new hearing aids.

This article aims to shed light on the common hearing aid side effects that individuals may encounter, helping you navigate the transition towards better hearing and ensuring a smooth and fulfilling journey with your new devices. By understanding the hearing aid side effects and learning strategies to address them, you can maximize the benefits of your hearing aids and embark on a rewarding hearing journey with confidence and ease.

Hearing Aids Side Effects

hearing aid side effects
  1. Physical Discomfort: When first wearing hearing aids, it’s not uncommon to experience physical discomfort or irritation. The devices may feel foreign or cause soreness, itching, or pressure sensations around the ears. This discomfort typically subsides as your ears and skin adjust to the presence of the hearing aids.
  2. Increased Sound Awareness: With hearing aids amplifying sounds, you might notice a heightened awareness of everyday noises. Footsteps, running water, or background conversations may seem louder or more pronounced than you remember. Over time, your brain adapts and filters these sounds, resulting in a more natural perception.
  3. Feedback or Whistling: Hearing aids can sometimes produce feedback or whistling sounds. This may occur if the devices are not properly fitted or if there is excess earwax. Regular maintenance and professional adjustments can help minimize feedback issues and ensure optimal performance.
  4. Adjusting to Speech Sounds: The amplification provided by hearing aids may initially affect how you perceive speech sounds, including your own voice. This adjustment period requires time and patience as you become accustomed to the new auditory input. 
  5. Mental Fatigue: During the early stages of wearing hearing aids, your brain may need to work harder to process the amplified sounds. This increased mental effort can lead to feelings of fatigue or being overwhelmed, especially in noisy environments. Gradually, as your brain adapts to the new auditory stimuli, listening becomes more effortless.

Remember, these hearing aid side effects are usually temporary and part of the adjustment process. Regular communication with your hearing healthcare professional is vital to address any concerns and ensure your hearing aids are properly calibrated to meet your needs. With time, patience, and professional guidance, the hearing aid side effects of wearing new hearing aids can be managed, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of improved hearing and an enriched quality of life.

Can Hearing Aids Cause Tinnitus?

Tinnitus, the perception of sound in the absence of an external source, is a common concern for individuals with hearing loss. If you’re considering hearing aids, you may wonder if they can cause or worsen tinnitus. The good news is that hearing aids themselves do not typically cause tinnitus. In fact, they often provide relief by improving overall hearing ability and reducing the prominence of tinnitus.

Hearing aids work by amplifying sounds and making them more audible to individuals with hearing loss. By filling in the gaps in hearing, they can minimize the brain’s efforts to compensate for missing sounds, which can help reduce the perception of tinnitus. The amplified external sounds provided by hearing aids can effectively distract the brain from focusing on tinnitus, making it less noticeable.

However, it’s important to note that during the initial adjustment period of wearing hearing aids, individuals may experience changes in their tinnitus perception. This can occur due to the brain adapting to the increased auditory input or the amplification of certain frequencies. These changes are typically temporary and should subside as the brain becomes acclimated to the new sounds.

In some cases, if the hearing aids are not properly fitted or if the amplification settings are not optimized, individuals may mistakenly attribute an increase in tinnitus to the use of hearing aids. This underscores the importance of working closely with a hearing healthcare professional to ensure proper fitting, calibration, and ongoing adjustments of the hearing aids to suit your unique hearing needs.

It’s essential to communicate any changes in your tinnitus experience to your hearing healthcare professional, as they can make necessary adjustments to alleviate any discomfort or address any issues. By optimizing the settings of your hearing aids and ensuring a proper fit, you can achieve a balanced sound experience that minimizes tinnitus perception and enhances overall hearing satisfaction.

In summary, while hearing aids do not typically cause tinnitus, they can play a crucial role in managing tinnitus symptoms by improving overall hearing ability. By working closely with a hearing healthcare professional, you can find the right hearing aids and appropriate settings that not only address your hearing loss but also contribute to a reduction in the prominence. 

Do Hearing Aids Cause Headaches?

hearing aid side effects

Headaches can be a concern for individuals who wear hearing aids, especially during the initial adjustment period. While it is uncommon for hearing aids to directly cause headaches, there are a few factors to consider that may contribute to this discomfort. Let’s explore some potential reasons and how to address them:

  1. Physical Discomfort: Hearing aids, like any new device, may take some time for your ears to adjust. The physical presence of the hearing aids in or behind the ears can lead to mild soreness or pressure, which could potentially trigger a headache. Ensuring a proper fit and wearing the hearing aids for shorter periods initially can help alleviate this discomfort.
  2. Increased Sound Sensitivity: When you first start wearing hearing aids, you may experience a heightened sensitivity to sounds due to their amplification. This heightened sound awareness can potentially lead to sensory overload and result in a headache. Gradually increasing the hearing aid usage duration and adjusting to the amplified sounds can help reduce this effect.
  3. Incorrect Fitting or Settings: If your hearing aids are not properly fitted or calibrated, they may not provide the optimal listening experience. This could result in increased listening effort to hear, which may contribute to headaches. Regular check-ups and adjustments by a hearing healthcare professional can ensure your hearing aids are properly fitted and programmed for your specific needs.
  4. Tension and Stress: The process of adapting to new hearing aids can sometimes be stressful, leading to tension headaches. Stress and anxiety can contribute to muscle tension around the head and neck, triggering headaches. Engaging in stress-reducing techniques such as relaxation exercises or deep breathing can help manage this issue.

If you experience persistent or severe headaches while wearing hearing aids, it’s essential to consult a hearing healthcare professional. They can assess the fit and functionality of your hearing aids, make necessary adjustments, and address any concerns you may have.

Remember, headaches during the adjustment period are typically temporary, as your ears and brain adapt to the new auditory input. With patience, proper fitting, and open communication with your hearing healthcare professional, any discomfort or headaches experienced initially can be minimized, allowing you to fully enjoy the benefits of improved hearing with your hearing aids.

Do Hearing Aids Increase My Risk of Ear Infections

When considering hearing aids, you may wonder if wearing them increases the risk of ear infections. While it is possible for hearing aids to contribute to ear infections, proper care, hygiene practices, and regular maintenance can significantly minimize this risk.

hearing aid side effects

Let’s delve into the factors to consider:

  1. Moisture Build-Up: Hearing aids can create a moist environment within the ear, providing an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to infections. This is particularly true if the hearing aids are not adequately cleaned and dried. Regular cleaning, using specialized tools and following manufacturer guidelines help prevent moisture build-up and reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Earwax Accumulation: Earwax naturally protects the ear canal by trapping debris and preventing infections. However, excessive earwax can interfere with the proper functioning of hearing aids and potentially contribute to infections. Routine cleaning and maintenance of the hearing aids, as well as regular earwax removal under professional guidance, can help manage earwax accumulation and minimize associated infection risks.
  3. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may develop allergic reactions to the materials used in hearing aids or their components, such as the earmolds or batteries. These allergic reactions can cause irritation and increase the susceptibility to ear infections. Consulting with a hearing healthcare professional can help identify and address any allergies or sensitivities related to hearing aid use.

To reduce the risk of ear infections when wearing hearing aids, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Maintain good hygiene practices: Clean your hearing aids regularly using recommended cleaning techniques and tools. Keep your ears clean and dry, and avoid introducing foreign objects into the ear canal.
  • Proper fitting and adjustments: Ensure that your hearing aids fit correctly and comfortably. Regular check-ups with a hearing healthcare professional can help identify any fitting issues and make necessary adjustments to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Seek professional guidance: Consult with a hearing healthcare professional who can provide guidance on proper cleaning techniques, earwax management, and general hearing aid care. They can also address any concerns or symptoms that may indicate an infection.

By following proper cleaning routines, managing earwax effectively, and seeking professional guidance, you can maintain good ear health while wearing hearing aids and minimize the risk of ear infections.

My Ears Itch Or Feel Sore When I Wear Hearing Aids—What Can I Do?

Experiencing itching or soreness in the ears while wearing hearing aids can be uncomfortable and bothersome. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address these issues and improve your overall comfort.

Consider the following strategies:

hearing aid side effects
  1. Cleanliness: Ensure that your ears and the hearing aids are clean and free from excess earwax. Use gentle cleaning techniques recommended by your hearing healthcare professional to prevent buildup that can cause irritation.
  2. Proper Fit: Wrongly-fitting hearing aids can lead to discomfort and soreness. Make sure your hearing aids are properly fitted and adjusted to your ear shape and size. A hearing healthcare professional can assist you in achieving the right fit for optimal comfort.
  3. Breaks and Rest: If you notice prolonged itching or soreness, try taking short breaks from wearing your hearing aids throughout the day. Giving your ears a rest can help alleviate discomfort and reduce irritation.
  4. Seek Professional Assistance: If itching or soreness persists, it’s essential to consult with your hearing healthcare professional. They can assess your situation, examine the fit and condition of your hearing aids, and recommend appropriate adjustments or solutions to address your specific concerns.

Remember, your comfort and well-being are essential when wearing hearing aids. By addressing any itching or soreness promptly and seeking professional guidance, you can optimize your experience and enjoy the benefits of improved hearing without discomfort.

Managing Your Hearing Aid Side Effects

Managing the hearing aid side effects of wearing hearing aids requires proactive steps and ongoing care. To effectively manage common side effects, consider the following tips: First, practice patience and adaptation as you give yourself time to adjust to the new sounds and sensations provided by your hearing aids. Be open to gradual changes and allow your brain and ears to acclimate to the amplified sounds. Second, follow proper cleaning and maintenance routines by regularly cleaning your hearing aids according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

This includes cleaning the devices themselves, replacing batteries as needed, and keeping them dry to minimize the risk of moisture-related issues. Lastly, maintain regular appointments with your hearing healthcare professional for professional support. They can monitor your progress, make necessary adjustments to your hearing aids, address any concerns or hearing aid side effects, and provide guidance on optimal usage and care. By implementing these tips, you can effectively manage the side effects and enhance your overall hearing aid experience.

Lower Your Chances of Experiencing Hearing Aid Side Effects

While hearing aid side effects are not entirely avoidable, there are steps you can take to lower your chances of experiencing them:

  1. Work with a Trusted Professional: Seek guidance from a reputable hearing healthcare professional who can properly assess your hearing needs, fit your hearing aids correctly, and offer ongoing support.
  2. Open Communication: Communicate openly with your hearing healthcare professional about any discomfort, side effects, or concerns you may have. This allows for timely adjustments and modifications to optimize your experience.
  3. Consistent Usage: Regularly wear your hearing aids as recommended by your hearing healthcare professional. Consistent usage helps your brain adjust to the new sounds and maximizes the benefits of improved hearing.

Hearing Aid Side Effects Takeaway

Understanding and managing the hearing aid side effects is an important aspect of your hearing journey. While some side effects may arise initially, most are temporary and can be effectively managed with proper care and professional support. By being proactive, patient, and open to adjustments, you can enjoy the transformative benefits of improved hearing while minimizing any potential hearing aid side effects.

Remember, your hearing healthcare professional is your ally in addressing concerns and ensuring your hearing aids provide the best possible experience. Embrace the world of sound and take delight in the positive impact that hearing aids can have on your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hearing aids make you feel sick?

When wearing hearing aids for the first time, it is common to experience dizziness and headaches due to the brain needing to adapt to the acoustic environment provided by the hearing assistance gadget. To facilitate faster adaptation of your brain to the devices and minimize distractions from background sounds and echoes, it is recommended to wear your new hearing aids as frequently as possible. It is also important to take regular one-hour breaks when experiencing headaches or fatigue from wearing the hearing aids. While severe headaches are rare, they can occur in patients with hearing loss, but typically resolve within a week.

Do hearing aids sound natural?

Often wearing hearing aids for the first time we tend to wonder if the sound will be natrual, the answer is yes. The sound entering the hearing aid through the microphones is precisely amplified by the microcomputer and transmitted into the ear via the earmold. This process, which takes only a few milliseconds, results in a phase difference between the sound transmitted through the hearing aid and the sound that enters the ear directly through an open earmold. Consequently, the sound may appear unnatural due to this delay.

Eleftheria Georganti
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Eleftheria's world revolves around sound - whether it's designing high-quality audio applications, crunching numbers in audio signal processing (DSP), decoding room acoustics, listening to music or crafting the latest hearing aid technology and new features. She has a professional career spanning over 15 years and a strong research record (over 40 articles and patents) and has been the driving force behind top-notch products at leading hearing aid and audio tech companies. But what really makes her enthusiastic is sharing what she knows. As an avid writer, she loves spreading the word on the science of hearing, hearing aids and health technologies. Her ultimate goal? To give people with hearing impairments the insights they need to live their best life.

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