Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid owners wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It most likely has unique features that drastically improve the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls 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 external sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. 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. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
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. Some say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s really worth it.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be a bit disorienting initially because voices might sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be sure you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you might not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it straight the first time is better. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For instance, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to juggle several requirements at the same time: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have problems hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels great. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to take into consideration
- 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?
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
Many issues that arise 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 allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
The majority of hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. Oils encountered normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. All of a sudden, when 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 a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on 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 it’s not just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections after you get your new hearing aids. This may take place 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. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to rebuild those pathways between your ears and your brain. It might feel a bit silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you create those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. 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. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.