Congratulations! 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 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 steer clear of them.
1. Failing to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Ask a family member or friend to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from the first day. This assumption is usually not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are just talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices might not sound the same. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Being untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and get retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
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 call for different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to manage several requirements at the same time: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to put in 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:
- 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
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose for yourself. 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 several years. So if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- You might prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re totally satisfied.
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the issues with regards to 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. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not correctly caring for your hearing aids
Moisture is a real issue for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. 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 sure to wash your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid users frequently learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this might happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for others, an intentional approach may be required to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient 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 strange initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you create those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always try audiobooks. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.