Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Failing to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It likely has exclusive features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Just turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing 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 assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be a bit disorienting at first because voices may sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly begin to go to 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 just be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing exam
In order to be sure you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: They need to effectively boost sound, they need to be simple to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to calibrate the proper power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. If you have problems 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 efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can seriously damage others. Maybe you enjoy 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 what state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You might prefer something that is very automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you require?
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid brands will allow you to try out the devices before deciding. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a real problem for the majority of hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the money. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Like most electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries nearby, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on 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 heavy lifting. But the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This might occur quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But others will need a more structured strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It may feel a little foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always try audiobooks. You can buy (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 train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.