Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with all new devices, there will be things that hearing aid owners wish somebody had told them.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know 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.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, 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 learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise 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 getting a friend or family member to assist you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. 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 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 are only talking. Familiar voices may not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume 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 lots of 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 test will ensure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you may have been, go back and ask to be retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The level and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. Others are better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of 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 feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. 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 changes to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can seriously damage others. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some recommendations but you must decide for yourself. Only you know which state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in 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 if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of individual. How much battery life will you require?
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will let you try out the devices before deciding. This test period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a significant issue for most hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. Oils found naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Not having spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. When you’re about to find out 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 external environment and how you use it. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But it’s not just your ears that are affected 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 begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. For some individuals, this might happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, an intentional approach might be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient 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 let that stop you. You’re doing the important 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.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always try audiobooks. 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 train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.