Congratulations! 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 owners make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It probably has unique features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different settings like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of outside sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. 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 providing the hearing experience that using these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from the first day. This is an incorrect assumption. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are only talking. Familiar voices might not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly start to visit new places and use the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and get 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 degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: 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 amplify the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- 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
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. If you have difficulty hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. Even note if everything feels right on. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have sophisticated features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
We can give you some recommendations but you must decide for yourself. 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 work with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- To be very satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed during the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid makers will let you try out the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple actions like these will improve 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. When you’re about to find out who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like most electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But the parts of your brain in charge of 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. This might happen quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more focused plan to restore their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a bit silly at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.