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 somebody had told them.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It likely has exclusive features that significantly improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a rudimentary way, without learning about these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get 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. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they leave the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because voices might sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly begin to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and ask to be retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: 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 intended to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
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 problems hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make personalized, minute changes to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Perhaps you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced 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 and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You may want something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with through the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid makers will allow you to demo the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not appropriately maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a real problem for the majority of hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The performance of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils normally 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 steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. All of a sudden, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Like many electronic devices, battery life varies depending on your usage and the outside environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you just changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might 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 affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This may occur quite naturally for some people, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But others will need a more structured strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common 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 let that 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. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.