Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality.
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It most likely has unique features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. 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. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member 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 10X better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
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 might need to use it in short intervals.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re just talking. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly start to visit new places and wear 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. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be certain you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and get retested. Getting it right the first time is better. The degree and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at the same time: They need to effectively 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 properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to determine 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 once you get fitted. If you have trouble 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. This can help us make personalized, tiny adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. Only you know which advanced 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 a number of years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to take into consideration
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- You may prefer something that is really automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved during the fitting process. 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 a sense of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious problem for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Consistently 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 naturally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this concept at the worst times. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the outside environment. So even if you recently changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something significant.
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 it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of 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 developed recently. But others will need a more focused plan to restore their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a bit silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always try 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. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.