Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be significantly improved if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings 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 might have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily become 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 family member or friend to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. 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
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This assumption is normally not how it works. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s very worth it.
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 initially because people’s voices may sound different. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you use 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 truthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you might not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The level and type of hearing loss will identify 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. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to place and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify 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 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. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels great. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments 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 decide for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit 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 features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- To be entirely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- How obvious your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Many challenges that come up 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. This trial period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Failing to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the money. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So always keep an extra set of batteries handy, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t miss out on something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. 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 restoring those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this may happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, a deliberate approach may be required to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a bit weird at first you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. 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. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.