Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. 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. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. 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 attain the clearest sound quality. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help 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 giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. It generally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. 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 experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are just talking. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because voices may sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your level of hearing loss during your hearing exam
In order to be certain you get the right hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may 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 degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an illustration, people 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 call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual needs.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- 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 important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. If you have difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make personalized, tiny changes to help your hearing aids reach peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can significantly damage others. Perhaps you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. Only you know what 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 use them.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for quite a while. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is visible. 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 completely satisfied.
- You might prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you try out the devices before deciding. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would meet 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, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
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 impacted by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be followed.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these simple steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to learn who did it at the critical 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. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get 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 affected by hearing loss not just 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. This might happen quite naturally for some individuals, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for other people, an intentional strategy may be required 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 connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.