Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But, just like with any new device, there will be things that hearing aid wearers wish someone had informed them about.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It most likely has exclusive features that drastically improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different places. Ask a family member or friend 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 turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. Simple voices might sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required 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 countless wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss during your hearing assessments
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you could have been, come back and ask to be retested. Getting it straight the first time is easier. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an illustration, people 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
There are numerous 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 amplify the sounds around you efficiently. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- 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 important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You might ask our opinion but the decision 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 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
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re totally satisfied.
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. How much battery life will you need?
- How noticeable your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. Also, you might 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 properly taking care of your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s not a good idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be impacted by the oils naturally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to learn who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like many electronics, battery life varies depending on your usage and the outside environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got 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 might happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for others, 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 best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a little strange at first you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. 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 while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.