Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to avoid them.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It most likely has unique features that significantly improve the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. Additionally, it might 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. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
In order to get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. 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 very worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re only talking. Simple voices might not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly start to go to new places and wear the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
In order to be certain you get the proper hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you could have been, come back and get retested. Getting it right the first time is better. 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 example, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: They need to effectively boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- 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
It’s highly recommended 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. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency 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.
You can ask our opinion but the decision must be 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 work with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
A few more things to contemplate
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
- To be very satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues 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 determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Failing to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious challenge for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally present 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 followed.
Taking simple steps like these will improve 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 owners learn this one. When you’re about to discover who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
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 just changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something important.
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 heavy lifting. But it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain connections after you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this might happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for others, an intentional approach might be required to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can restore 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 continue practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always try audiobooks. 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. 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.