Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can avoid them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t 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.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Just raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. Simple voices may sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. 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.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Being untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and ask to be retested. Getting it straight the first time is better. The degree and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an example, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to place and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the proper power for your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have trouble 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 great. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can severely damage others. Some have sophisticated features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You might ask our opinion but the decision must be yours. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to consider
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re completely satisfied.
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you may be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Not correctly caring for your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant problem for most hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. Oils encountered normally on your hand can effect 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 actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not necessarily 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 in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. This might occur quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, a deliberate strategy may be necessary 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 restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a little strange initially you should still practice like this. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.