Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But, just like with all new devices, there will be things that hearing aid owners wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. 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 simply turn the volume up and down.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your 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 just talking. Simple voices might not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be sure 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 perhaps you weren’t as honest as you may have been, go back and get retested. Getting it straight the first time is better. 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.
For instance, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to handle several requirements at once: 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 boost the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, 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 after you get fitted. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make personalized, tiny changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have advanced features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for a long time. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you might be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a significant problem for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to learn who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit 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 nearby, even if you recently changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. This may occur quite naturally for some people, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, an intentional strategy may be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the essential 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.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always try audiobooks. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.