Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with all new devices, there will be things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. Additionally, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they leave the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. Familiar voices might sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
In order to be sure you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to manage several requirements at the same time: They need to effectively boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal needs.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have problems hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels right on. This can help us make personalized, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for a long time. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to take into consideration
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You might want something that is really automated. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will let you try out the devices before deciding. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Not properly caring for your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid place. It’s not a good idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. Oils encountered normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to learn who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the external environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries nearby, even if you just changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some individuals, this might happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But other people will need a more structured approach to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always try audiobooks. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.