Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It likely has unique features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you fail to learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing 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 test how well you can hear.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be 10X 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 owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be a bit disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
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 wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it right the first time is easier. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
As an illustration, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
There are several 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 put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
It’s highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a large room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. Even make a note if everything feels right on. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can significantly damage others. Perhaps 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. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t work with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain features, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- You might prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re totally satisfied.
During the fitting process we can address many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will let you try out the devices before deciding. During this test period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Not properly caring for your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are quite sensitive to moisture. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions 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 guidelines.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you just replaced them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. This may happen quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But other people will need a more focused approach to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It may feel a little silly at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. 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 keep practicing.
You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.