Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But new hearing aid owners will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be dramatically improved if you know how to utilize advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may 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. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Just turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they’re completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. 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’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. It can be a bit disorienting at first because people’s voices might sound different. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly start to visit new places and use the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful 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 proper hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and ask to be retested. 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.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. 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 manage a few requirements at once: They need to efficiently amplify 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.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a big room. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels great, make a note. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have advanced features you may be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision is yours. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for a long time. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re totally satisfied.
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. How much battery life will you require?
During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you might be able to try 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. Not correctly taking care of your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant challenge for the majority of hearing aids. You might want to invest in 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.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. Oils encountered 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 recommended cleaning procedures should be followed.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these basic steps.
8. Not having 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 quit without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So even if you recently changed 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 purchase your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. This might occur quite naturally for some people, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But other people will need a more structured approach to restore their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a bit silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). 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 attractive to you. 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 as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.