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3 Signs That You Are Wearing an Ill-fitting Hearing Aid

a hearing specialist performing a hearing aid fitting for his elderly patient

At a hearing aid fitting, you select a hearing aid that meets your specific needs, and your audiologist customizes it for you. First, they must perform an ear exam and a hearing test before you can be fitted for hearing aids. This doesn't take long, and it's usually done simultaneously as the actual fitting.

Your audiologist will then assist you in selecting the best type of hearing aid for your hearing loss and lifestyle during the fitting. When you choose the best option of hearing aids for your needs, the audiologist will physically fit them to your ear. 

Why Fit Matters

A hearing aid is a powerful device that your audiologist will fit for your ear. There are many different options for the size and shape of the device. However, to get the best comfort and sound quality, your hearing aid must fit perfectly.

One size or type of hearing aid doesn’t fit all. Different shapes and sizes will suit different body types. Some people might find a small round behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid more comfortable than a large BTE or completely-in-canal (CIC). Other people might find an in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid with a custom earmold.

Whatever the type or style you prefer, it’s essential to know if the hearing aid you’ve chosen is the right fit for you. Here are five signs that you are wearing an ill-fitting hearing aid.

How Can You Tell if the Fitting is Wrong?

Fortunately, any reputable audiologist will ensure proper fitting and adjustment until you are completely satisfied. If it's your first-time wearing hearing aids, you might experience some common issues initially, but there are a few red flags that indicate poor fitting and should be addressed as soon as possible. 
If you experience any of these signs, it's likely that your hearing aid might not be fitting correctly.

  1. You experience feedback (or whistling): Feedback is a sound that occurs when the hearing aid microphones pick up their own amplified sound and re-amplify it in an infinite loop. As a result, the hearing aid emits whistling, chirping, or other undesirable sounds. This can happen if your hearing device is too close to your ear or if the volume on your hearing aid is set too high.
  2. You have difficulty coordinating sound with movement: If you cannot hear well in noisy environments, this may be because of a poorly fitted hearing aid. The best way to avoid this problem is to have an audiologist fit your hearing aid and teach you how to use it correctly.
  3. You can’t wear the device all day without discomfort: It is normal to feel some irritation during the first few days of using new hearing aids. However, any more than minor discomfort that lasts for more than a few days may indicate a problem, and it's best to consult with an audiologist to resolve any issues. 
  4. You are sore around the area where the hearing aid is fitted: This could mean that the hearing aid is pressing against nerves or bones in these areas and needs adjustment or replacement.
  5. You experience issues with the volume: Many people complain that the sound is either too loud or too low to hear. It takes a few days for patients to adjust to the higher volume of hearing aids. However, if you continue to have volume issues with your hearing aids after a few days, the device may need to be reprogrammed.

What Can You Do?

If any of the signs mentioned above are happening to you, it's essential to go back to your audiologist so they can fix it. In some cases, they will adjust the position of the hearing aid. If this doesn't work, they may need to re-examine the fit again. The right size and fit for your hearing aids are crucial for effective treatment!

If you are still new to hearing aids, don’t hesitate to reach out to your audiologist. It’s very common to improperly insert or remove the devices when you are still getting used to them. Our patient staff will work with you to ensure you know how to properly handle your devices, clean them and insert and remove them. 

If you are having trouble hearing or feel like your hearing aid doesn't fit right, make sure to visit your audiologist. For further questions regarding hearing aids or to learn more about Hinderliter Hearing Services, visit our services page or contact 248-430-8425.