Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But, as with any new device, there are things that hearing aid owners wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has unique features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
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 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 outside sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This assumption is normally not how it works. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s really worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because people’s voices may not sound the same. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
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 hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for people 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
Your hearing aids need to handle several requirements at the same time: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to calibrate the correct power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
It’s highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels great. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can severely damage others. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. Only you know what state-of-the-art 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’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you need?
- 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 perhaps you want to wear them with style.
During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will let you demo the devices before deciding. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Failing to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious challenge for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s not a good idea to store 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 impacted by the oils naturally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to discover who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this may happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But other people will need a more focused strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can recreate those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a little weird at first you should still practice like this. You’re doing the important work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can buy (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 accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.