Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern technology. But, as with any new device, there will be things that hearing aid wearers wish someone had told them.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be significantly improved if you know how to use advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
In order to get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be optimal as they leave the office. 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 stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. Familiar voices may sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at 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 truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been completely 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’re experiencing.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. Others are better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: 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. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make personalized, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. Only you know which state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t work with your lifestyle you won’t use 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 feature.
A few more things to contemplate
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- You may want something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you require?
- How visible your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
Many challenges that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you may be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Not properly maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a real issue for the majority of hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. It’s not a good idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be followed.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers 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 varies depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t miss out on something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting 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 just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some individuals, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, an intentional approach might be required to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to rebuild those pathways 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. 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 purchase (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. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.