Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. It most likely has exclusive features that considerably enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you fail to learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This assumption is usually not how it works. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are just talking. It can be a bit disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing appointment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and ask to be retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Undergo hearing tests to calibrate the appropriate power for 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. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have advanced features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You might prefer something that is very automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid makers will allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. This trial period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not properly taking care of your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. Oils found 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 accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not having spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to learn who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this may happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, an intentional strategy might be required to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the important work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with 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 while the audiobook plays. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.