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What Are the Side Effects of a Hearing Aid?

an older patient being fitted for modern hearing aids

Hearing aids will improve the quality of life for people who experience hearing loss. However, as beneficial as they can be for one of the 48 million Americans who have reported hearing problems, they are not always perfect. Even though hearing aids have gone through a broad range of updates and improvements throughout the years, some patients still report side effects. Although these side effects will not affect everybody, it is always worth knowing what you could encounter if you require a hearing aid

Headaches 

As your body needs to relearn how to hear and filter out sounds when wearing a hearing aid for the first time, even the smallest noises can feel distracting and even overwhelming. As a result of this, you may experience headaches or even migraines. 

Such problems are brought on by the hearing aid, but while they can be irritating and even worrying at first, your headaches should go away within the first few weeks as you become more comfortable wearing your hearing aid. 

Tinnitus

It can take some time to find the optimal settings for your hearing aid, and in the first few days, it may be too loud. While it is good that you can hear things better, sounds that are too loud can lead to tinnitus, which could lead to further permanent damage if not dealt with properly. 

Tinnitus is a ringing, crackling, whooshing or similar sound in the ear. If you find that you hear these kinds of sounds even when you are in a quiet place, it is worth considering whether the volume on your hearing aid is too loud. If so, turn the volume down. 

Irritation and discomfort

If you are not used to wearing a hearing aid, it can be challenging to get used to the sensation of it in your ear. Like other problems, this will go away as you become more comfortable wearing the hearing aid. Still, this will take time, and it is understandable to experience irritation at first. 

These issues can be compounded further by a hearing aid that doesn’t fit correctly. As all hearing aids are customized to suit you, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, there is always the chance that measurements were incorrect or mistakes were made during the construction process. With an ill-fitting hearing aid, you risk continuous discomfort throughout the day and you may even discover abrasions or scratches around the area after removing it.

Even though you will experience these problems, you must persevere wearing your hearing aid as long as it fits correctly. 

Ear canal itch

When you are not wearing a hearing aid, you do not think twice about scratching an itch in your ear so you can remove discomfort and concentrate on what you are doing. This changes when you are required to wear a hearing aid, though. 

It doesn’t matter if you use an in-the-ear (ITE), behind-the-ear (BTE) or in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid, removing it to scratch and itch will not be beneficial and it can even make existing problems worse. One significant issue that could arise is compacting earwax, causing blockages in the ear canal and could lead to infection. Furthermore, there’s a risk of damaging the eardrum. 

If you need to clean your ears, it’s best to use specialized spray or drops, which will help to loosen the earwax, so it comes naturally. 

Distracting feedback 

You may experience distracting feedback, like what you find when a microphone is too close to a speaker, when you first wear your hearing aid. It may be a sharp whistle or crackling, although it can vary depending on the environment. 

This can be distracting and distressing, especially as it typically comes out of nowhere. If you find this happening, speak to your audiologist to calibrate the system so that it minimizes and hopefully eliminates interference. 

Avoiding side effects

These common side effects are the ones most likely to impact how effective your hearing aid experience is. To get the best results and improve your quality of life by using a hearing aid, you must make adjustments to your hearing aid when necessary. Speak to your audiologist and raise any concerns regarding potential side affects you may be experiencing. Your audiologist should be able to make adjustments or recommend a different type of hearing aid that should provide an improvement. 

Get in touch

Hearing aids are a fantastic way to improve the quality of life for anybody who experiences hearing problems. If you or somebody you know is experiencing these issues, get in touch with Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids call at 605-306-5756 today to speak to one of our experienced and highly qualified professionals. 


 


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