Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible 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 assess how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Failing 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 utilize 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 may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting immediate 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 assumption is normally not how it works. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. Simple voices might sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure 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 get 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, certain 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
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: They need to efficiently amplify sound, they need to be simple 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.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- 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
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels right, make a note. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have sophisticated 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 wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You may prefer something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. How much battery life will you require?
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re totally satisfied.
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be important to you. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding 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. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Not correctly maintaining your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. Oils found naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid users frequently learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to discover who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like many electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss 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 the parts of your brain responsible for 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. This may take place quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But other people will need a more focused plan to restore their ability to hear. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit 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.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.