Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you fail to learn about these functions, 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 settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are persistent.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re just talking. Familiar voices might not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly begin 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 only be patient with yourself.
3. Being dishonest 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 correct hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The level and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
As an example, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to manage a few requirements at the same time: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
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. If you have difficulty hearing in large 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 knowledge, we can personalize 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 in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can severely damage others. Some have sophisticated features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the choice is yours. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for quite a while. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to consider
- How noticeable your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- To be entirely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. How much battery life will you require?
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the issues regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid makers will allow you to demo the devices before deciding. This test period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not properly maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant issue for most hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the duration of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this lesson at the worst times. All of a sudden, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to learn “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 nearby, even if you just changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something important.
9. Not practicing 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 impacted by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this may happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, a deliberate strategy may be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. It may feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the important work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you create 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, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.