Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s go over 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 use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. Additionally, it might 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-sophisticated hearing aid in a basic way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This assumption is normally not how it works. It generally takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are persistent.
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.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re only talking. It can be a bit disorienting initially because people’s voices may sound different. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might 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 best for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to manage a few requirements at once: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the proper power for your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
Once 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 trouble hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, tiny adjustments to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Maybe 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 must be 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 wear them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
A few more things to contemplate
- How obvious your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re totally satisfied.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. How much battery life will you need?
Many challenges that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed during the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you demo the devices before making a decision. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Not correctly taking care of your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant problem for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils naturally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. When you’re about to learn who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This may take place quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But for others, a deliberate approach may be required to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). 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 yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. 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 hear speech again.