Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish someone 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 to avoid them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be greatly improved if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It may also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a basic way, without learning about these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they leave 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 don’t get frustrated. 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’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re just talking. Simple voices may sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly start to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
In order to be certain you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you may have been, come back and get retested. But it’s better 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.
For example, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to handle several requirements at once: 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 boost the sounds around you efficiently. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of 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 once you get fitted. If you have problems hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make personalized, minute changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can seriously damage others. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. 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 be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
A few more things to contemplate
- You might want something that is very automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- How noticeable your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- To be entirely 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. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you demo the devices before making a decision. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Failing to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
The majority of hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting 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.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid users frequently learn this lesson at the worst times. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to find out “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 recently replaced them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. This might take place quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. 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
One of the best ways you can recreate those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a little odd at first you should still practice like this. 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.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.