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What Are the Side Effects of a Hearing Aid?

an audiologist is fitting a patient with brand new hearing aids

When talking about the side-effects of a hearing aid, we have to focus on the positive first. If you have experienced hearing loss, you will benefit from the hearing device your audiologist will provide you with, as you will finally have the opportunity to hear again. From being able to hear what your colleagues are saying at work to having the chance to finally hear what is being said on the television again, you will experience the positive side-effects that a hearing aid can give you. 

However, new users of hearing aids often experience problems with their devices, and these are considered to be the negative side-effects of hearing aids. Thankfully, these issues can be overcome, either through good practice when using the device or with the aid of an audiologist. 

Here are some of the bothersome side-effects that hearing aid users often experience:

Headaches

It can take time to adjust to a hearing aid, and at first, sounds that have been muffled in the past can suddenly seem very loud. This problem will go away over time, as the brain will learn to filter out those noises that shouldn't be overly loud, so there is little need to fear, despite the occasional headache. However, some users set their hearing aids too high and this can be why noises can appear to be loud, and why some hearing aid users experience more headaches than is normal. An audiologist can determine the problem and can advise users on the right settings for their hearing aid devices. 

Feelings of discomfort

Hearing aids are designed to be comfortable to wear, but in some cases, the user might make mistakes when fitting their devices to their ears. If they fit it too tightly, the hearing aid can cause soreness and skin irritation and if it is fitted too loosely, it can slip and slide around the ear. A bad fitting can also cause hearing discomfort, as some sounds may be difficult to hear, and there might be more feedback coming from the device. Of course, in some cases, it might not be the users' fault at all. The issue could be with the hearing aid itself, in which case, the audiologist will make the necessary adjustments. If the fault does lie with the user, the audiologist will be on hand to offer advice and assistance to minimize any further problems. 

Problems with sound quality

If set correctly, the hearing aid user should have no problems picking up sounds. However, if the volume is set too high or too low, the sound quality of the device will be affected. In most cases, the user will be able to manage this problem themselves, assuming their device contains a method of volume control. An audiologist will be able to offer help too, as they will give advice on the recommended sound settings for the user in question, and they might also recommend a more powerful hearing aid if needed. 

Issues with feedback

On occasion, hearing aid users might experience feedback from their devices. They might hear whistling and crackling noises when it is windy, for example, and they might experience interference if other electronic devices interfere with the hearing aids signal. These instances are usually rare, although if they do become a problem, an audiologist will be able to determine the issue and perhaps make the relevant adjustments to reduce any further problems with feedback. 

Itchiness

Users with highly sensitive ears or existing skin conditions such as eczema might experience itchiness in the ear canal. In rare cases, the hearing aid might exacerbate feelings of itchiness, and it can become a hindrance when trying to deal with the itch. An audiologist will be able to offer support here, and they might recommend a differently shaped hearing device, or they might recommend a soothing lotion to address the itching problem.

Get in touch with us

Despite the occasional negative side-effect, hearing aids are extremely useful devices and are recommended for anybody experiencing hearing loss. With proper management of the hearing aid, and through the advice of an audiologist, all problems associated with a hearing aid can be overcome. 

If you are experiencing negative side-effects with your hearing aid, we are here to help you. And if you think you might need to have a hearing aid fitted, we can advise you further. Get in touch with us at the Physicians Hearing Center for the advice you need by calling today at 334-673-7399. We are here to help you, no matter where you are on your hearing journey, so don't hesitate to call us if you need professional support and advice.