Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It likely has unique features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
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 rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from the first day. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be a bit disorienting at first because voices may not sound the same. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit new places and use the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be certain you get the right hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it right the first time is easier. The level and kind 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. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
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 put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust 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. If you have difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. 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 foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can significantly damage others. Some have sophisticated features you may be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You might ask our opinion but the decision is yours. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So if you really need certain features, you shouldn’t settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- You might want something that is very automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding 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. This test period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not properly taking care of your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the life 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. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this lesson at the worst times. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the outside environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. This may occur quite naturally for some people, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But others will need a more focused approach to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common 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. It may feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can purchase (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 understand speech again.