Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be significantly improved if you know how to utilize advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a basic 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.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that using these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This is an incorrect assumption. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because voices might sound different. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
In order to be certain you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you may have been, go back and get retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
For example, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be 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 be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to boost 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 identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a large room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make personalized, minute changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. However, water can significantly damage others. Some have state-of-the-art features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision is yours. Only you know what state-of-the-art 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’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to consider
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re totally satisfied.
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You may prefer something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you might be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a real challenge for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. Oils encountered normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not having spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to discover “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 handy, even if you just changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not only your ears.
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 especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, a deliberate strategy might be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little 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. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud personally, 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 hear speech again.