Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But, as with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had told them.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It most likely has unique features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may 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-advanced hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. It normally 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 used to your 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.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Familiar voices might sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear 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. Not being truthful 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 maybe 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.
For instance, some hearing aids are better for individuals 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 handle several requirements at once: They need to efficiently amplify sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
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 feels and performs. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels great. 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 in advance
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can severely damage others. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. 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 using 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
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re completely satisfied.
- How noticeable your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- You might prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
Many challenges that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you may be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This trial period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not properly caring for your hearing aids
Moisture is a real issue for most hearing aids. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils normally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested 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
New hearing aid wearers often learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. This might happen quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more focused plan 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 pathways between your ears and your brain. It might feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud personally, 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 as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and understanding) speech again.