Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But, as with any new device, there are things that hearing aid owners wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It probably has unique features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of outside sounds.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
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. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to wear it in short intervals.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you may have been, go back and get retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The degree and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that 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 call for different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. 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 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. Even note if everything feels great. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can significantly damage others. Maybe you take pleasure in 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. Only you know what advanced 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 use them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to take into consideration
- How visible your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
- You might prefer something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed during the fitting process. Also, you may be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Not correctly maintaining your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Failing to have a spare set of batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. All of a sudden, while 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 outside environment and how you use it. So always keep an extra set of batteries handy, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But the regions 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 restoring 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 back to normal again. The following are a couple of common 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 doing the essential work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. 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 part of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.