My hearing aids hurt: pressure and bruising

Should talking and eating hurt?

As the jaw moves up and down, hearing aids cannot help but press against it. This pressure can cause a feeling of bruising. It can happen from just talking, but is particularly noticeable when chewing food like meat. Most people seem to get used to it, but a few of us don't. I have particularly sensitive ears and the problem was making prolonged use of the hearing aids impossible. It was particularly distressing to me because eating and talking are sociable occupations, and sociable occupations are important for one's wellbeing.

It is important to stress that only a few people have ever complained to me about the problem. However, there is a small minority for whom - like for me - it is distressing, and may mean that they do not participate as much as they would like in social events.

Soft, flexible earpieces

Fortunately I read about soft, flexible earpieces, which are available from the NHS* if you ask. I did ask and was supplied with them. I won't say that they completely cure the problem, but they greatly improve it.

In the circumstances, I wonder why all hearing aids are not supplied with the soft, flexible earpieces. Expense may be a factor. What I do know from experience, though, is that there seem some disadvantages with the soft, flexible earpieces. My own voice seems to echo inside my head slightly more with them, which I suspect is due to the vents being squashed to some extent. Also the flexible earpieces are certainly more fiddly to insert, although I found this quite quick to get used to.

Fortunately, the hospital gave me back my original hard earpieces, which are, after all, no use to them. So I can alternate between the hard and the soft. It is straightforward to remove the earpiece from rest of the aid. Indeed, one is supposed to do so, for cleaning purposes.

Good as my soft earpieces are, I still get a surge of relief when I take off my hearing aids!


* The NHS is the UK's National Health Service which is free at the point of delivery.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is for a lay audience and I cannot be responsible for errors or omissions. The views, strategies, advice and suggestions etc are based on my personal experience and are not necessarily appropriate for anyone else. They should, hopefully, stimulate individuals to develop their own strategies.