Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just 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 walk out of the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to become 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 experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Simple voices may not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make corrections.
Slowly begin to go to new places and use the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
In order to be certain you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s better 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 example, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing 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 easy to place and take out, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be addressed 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. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels right on. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- To be entirely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid makers will allow you to try out the devices before making a decision. This test period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Failing to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are quite sensitive to moisture. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this concept at the worst times. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. 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 once you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this may happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for others, a deliberate strategy might be required to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to rebuild those pathways between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little 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 keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, 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. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.