Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern technology. But, just like with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to understand hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be greatly improved if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. 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 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 bit of 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 automatically improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
After you get 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. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. Simple voices might not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly begin to go to new places and use the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be certain you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it straight the first time is easier. The degree and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
As an example, individuals 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. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to manage a few requirements at the same time: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be easy 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:
- Undergo hearing tests to calibrate the correct power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely 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. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels great. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose for yourself. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for a long time. 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 completely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- You may prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- How obvious your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a real problem for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the money. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered 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 followed.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not having 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 crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you just changed 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
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be an assumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But it’s not just 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 start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. This might happen quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But others will need a more focused strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t allow that to 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.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always go the audiobook route. 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 as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and understanding) speech again.