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 owners will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It probably has exclusive features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different settings like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you fail to learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a basic way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to help you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This isn’t a correct assumption. It generally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re only talking. Simple voices may sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
In order to be certain you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get retested if you realize you may not have been totally 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 best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: 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. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust the proper power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
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 trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels great, make a note. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have advanced 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 decide for yourself. Only you know which state-of-the-art 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 wear them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
A few more things to think about
- You might prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be important to you. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with through the fitting process. Also, you may be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Not appropriately maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a serious problem for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. The performance 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 build up 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 having spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to discover who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the external environment. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something important.
9. Not practicing 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 it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. For some individuals, this may happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But other people will need a more focused plan to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to rebuild those connections between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit odd at first you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
You can always try 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. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.