Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can avoid them.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It most likely has unique features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. Additionally, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a basic way, without learning about these features, you can easily become 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 get the clearest sound quality. Test 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 turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because people’s voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required 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 wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing appointment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you could have been, go back and ask to be retested. Getting it straight the first time is easier. The hearing aid type and style that will be best 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 are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at the same time: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal needs.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust the appropriate power for your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
It’s important 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 large room. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels right, make a note. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the choice is yours. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- To be very satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- You may prefer something that is very automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid makers will allow you to demo the devices before deciding. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not correctly taking care of your hearing aids
Moisture is a serious problem for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils naturally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these simple steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. When you’re about to discover who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like most electronics, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the external environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be an assumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not just your ears.
You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections after you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But others will need a more structured plan to restore their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those pathways 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 practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.