Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But, as with any new device, there will be things that hearing aid owners wish someone had informed them about.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has unique features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you fail to learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
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
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s very worth it.
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 use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you are only talking. It can be a bit disorienting initially because people’s voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
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 optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might not have been completely 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 example, some hearing aids are better for individuals 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
Your hearing aids need to juggle several requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately 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. If you have difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, make a note of that. Even make a note if everything feels great. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Perhaps you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to consider
- You might prefer something that is very automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re totally satisfied.
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
Many issues that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with during the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid makers will allow you to try out the devices before making a decision. During this test period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Not appropriately maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant problem for the majority of hearing aids. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Consistently wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these simple steps.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
Like many electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on how you use it and the external environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you just changed them. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this may happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, a deliberate approach may be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to rebuild those pathways between your ears and your brain. It may feel a bit silly at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. 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 buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.