Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But, just like with all new devices, there will be things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had told them.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. It most likely has exclusive features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different settings like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you fail to learn about these features, 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, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they’re completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because voices might not sound the same. Ask about your own voice volume and make 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 only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be sure you get the right hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you may 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, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. Others will be better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to put in 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 factors for your individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the correct 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 important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. Even note if everything feels right on. This can help us make custom, tiny adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve peak 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. Perhaps you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You might ask our opinion but the choice is yours. You won’t use 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 you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
Many issues that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with through the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to try out the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
The majority of hearing aids are quite sensitive to moisture. You might 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 people take showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t miss out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing 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 only your ears that are impacted 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. For some people, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But other people will need a more focused plan to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to rebuild those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit odd at first you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you create those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.