Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But, as with any new device, 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 you can avoid them.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be greatly enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it might have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain 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. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This assumption is normally not how it works. It generally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary 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 honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you may have been, come back and get retested. 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’re experiencing.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. 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 numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: 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 effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual needs.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. Even make a note if everything feels great. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have sophisticated features you may be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the choice is yours. Only you know which state-of-the-art 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 wear them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re entirely satisfied.
- You might want something that is very automated. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
During 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 try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not appropriately maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a real issue for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the duration of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this lesson at the worst times. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
Like most electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you just changed your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this might happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for others, an intentional approach may be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a little silly at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the essential work of connecting 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 try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. 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. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.