Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with any new device, there are things that hearing aid owners wish someone had informed them about.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be dramatically 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, including smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing 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 assist you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Just turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This is an incorrect assumption. It generally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new 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. Familiar voices may not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit new places and use the hearing aid for more extended 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 exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and ask to be retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The degree and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
For example, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to juggle several requirements at the same time: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to place and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal needs.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a big room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. Even make a note if everything feels right on. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can seriously damage others. Some have sophisticated features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision is yours. Only you know what state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to 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 several years. 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 think about
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re totally satisfied.
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with during the fitting process. Also, you may be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This trial period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not appropriately maintaining your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the money. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. Oils found naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you recently changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. For some people, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But others will need a more structured plan to restore their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a little weird initially 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). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. 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 understand speech again.