Can Hearing Aids Cause Headaches? Everything You Need to Know

No one enjoys having a headache, especially when you are trying to get used to a hearing aid. If the two events coincide with each other, it is only natural to wonder if your headache is caused by the hearing aids that you are wearing. Anything that we do to our bodies to improve them also comes with unwanted side effects. 

So can hearing aids cause headaches? It is possible that a poorly fit hearing aid (acoustically or physically) can cause a headache. However, complaints of headaches from hearing aids are extremely rare. If the hearing aid is brand new and you have not yet adjusted to the new amount of sound it could cause a headache.

To be honest, as an audiologist, this is a complaint that I have never heard in my 7 years of practice. But I did a little research to find out complaint others audiologists have heard and I share to inform you.

Hearing Aids and Headaches

Anything that we do to our bodies to improve them also comes with unwanted side effects. Hearing aids also have side effects and a headache would be an unlikely side effect but a side effect none the less. 
That being said, let’s discuss some reasons why wearing hearing aids can cause a headache. 

  • Hearing aid is too loud
  • Hearing aid is not fitting comfortable in the ear.
  • Too much auditory stimulation
  • New hearing aids may have causes added stress in your life

The Best Way to Adapt to Wearing Hearing Aids to Avoid Headaches.

Have Realistic Expectations

It is annoying and sometimes frustrating if everyone has to speak out louder than usual for you to understand what they’re saying all the time. It’s worse for people with very significant hearing loss. You should keep that in mind and be fully prepared to fix this problem. This is important. You have to prepare your psyche for hearing aids, especially if it is the first time. 

That’s why 1 in every 6-8 hearing aids get yanked out of the ears and end up in the drawer, abandoned. Guess who did it? The patient him or herself! Now that you know why you are wearing hearing aids in the first place, you should be prepared to accept the adjustment period which is the time it would take you to adjust to having them on your ears. 

Like everything else that you have to do for the first time, it would take weeks, if not months, to get used to wearing them. So it will be absurd to have unrealistic expectations – You want it to feel like you aren’t wearing anything on your ears as usual and it should work like magic.  

In addition to this, you should know that hearing aids are not designed to restore normal hearing, rather it is built to improve the condition significantly. That’s because they will not give you normal hearing. 

That’s why they are called hearing AIDS. They aren’t a cure either. So more importantly, have realistic expectations. And remember this – the longer you use them the more your brain adapts to them and the more natural they feel.

2. Ensure the Aids Are Comfortable

The hearing aids should feel comfortable in your ear canals. It MUST be! If it isn’t, then tell your audiologist because the one you have isn’t the right one for you or it may need adjustment. If it needs to be replaced, do that while you are within the 30 day trial period.  For my current hearing aid recommendation check this out.

If your hearing aid is uncomfortable and you just try to ignore it, it can create a headache or will more likely just be thrown in a drawer and you will never wear it again.

Get the Right Amount of Sound

For many people, they want their audiologists to set it so that the sound they are hearing is too loud for others they initially want it so soft that the hearing aid isn’t doing any good. 

If the hearing aids are too soft you won’t get headaches but you also don’t hear very well.

If the hearing aid is too loud, it could easily cause a headache. Why? Because your brain is not used to hearing so much noise. What might sound normal when you are with your audiologist in a very quiet office setting might be too loud when you are out in the real world. You should trust your audiologist guidance at first. Try the hearing aids out at the recommended settings for a few weeks before making adjustments.

If the hearing aids are turned up too loud you will hate them. For example, clinking cutlery in the kitchen will feel like a jackhammer. And if someone says your name, it would feel like they are screaming your name at the top of their lungs! (remember, your family is already in the habit of talking very loud to you.

The best way to adapt to hearing aids is for you to have it at or below the prescription level for your hearing loss to see how you like them and then return for follow up adjustments if you still want it louder.

Relax, if the hearing aid is bothering you take a break from it.

How long does it takes to adjust to wearing hearing aids? It takes about 2-3 weeks to get used to the hearing aids if you are wearing them for at least 8 hours a day. That isn’t a long time. However, it is an endurance process. If they are truly annoying to you… take them off for a break or turn down the volume. 

Some people choose to wear them for just a few hours the first few days and then gradually work their way up to full time use of the hearing aids. 

What to Do If You Think Your Hearing Aid Causes You To Have Headaches?

  1. Take the hearing aid off until the headache goes away.
  2. Try the hearing aid again a different day to see if a headache returns.
  3. Try turning the volume down on the hearing aid to see if it helps.
  4. Schedule a follow up appointment with your audiologist to discuss problem with them.

In summary, hearing aids are immensely beneficial to people having hearing loss, but there could be complications such as a headache that will result from the use of hearing aids. But these problems can be overcome.  

Related Questions

Does wearing a hearing aid lower the sensitivity of your ear? This is a common question asked by many people with hearing. They worry that the recommended hearing aid will lower the sensitivity of their ears. It is reasonable to worry about this given the fact that if an organ has to work hard, it helps keep its functionality strong.  

However, you shouldn’t worry at all. Many scientific studies have shown that wearing hearing aids actually slow down the onset of hearing loss. And why is that so? It’s because it keeps the sound information flowing seamlessly to the brain, which will interpret the data or signal. That is to say that it preserves the vital part of the hearing process, which is very good.  

Are There Other Complications That Could Result from Wearing Hearing Aids? Unfortunately, some other complications are skin irritation, soreness or discomfort, hearing yourself chew, and feeling that everything sound tinny. Read more here about common side effects.

Jonathan Javid Au.D.

Jonathan Javid Au.D., a seasoned audiologist with an extensive background in the field of audiology. With over 11 years of invaluable clinical experience, Jonathan has dedicated his career to helping individuals enhance their hearing and improve their quality of life.

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