Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an impressive 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 someone had told them.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. The hearing experience will be dramatically improved 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. Additionally, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal 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 don’t get discouraged. 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 situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Familiar voices may not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly begin to go to new places and use the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be sure you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
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 level and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
For instance, 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
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 take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine 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 performs and feels. If you have trouble hearing in large 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 right on. This can help us make personalized, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can seriously damage others. Maybe 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 decide for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- How visible your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re totally satisfied.
- You may prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you require?
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to demo the devices before deciding. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils normally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, 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.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain connections after you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this may happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, an intentional approach may be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It may feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you create those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can purchase (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. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.