Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, as with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid owners wish someone had told them.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid user can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It most likely has exclusive features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it may have a specific 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-advanced hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Check out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to help 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 turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you are just talking. Familiar voices may not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly begin to go to new places and wear the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your level of hearing loss during your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you may not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
For instance, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
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. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
It’s highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a big room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. Even note if everything feels right on. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. However, water can severely damage others. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose for yourself. Only you know what state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
A few more things to think about
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re completely satisfied.
- How noticeable your hearing aid is might be important to you. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You may prefer something that is very automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. How much battery life will you need?
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the issues regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you try out the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Failing to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to learn who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like many electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So even if you recently changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But it’s not just 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 restoring those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. This might take place quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more structured approach to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to rebuild those connections between your ears and your brain. It may feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the essential work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.