Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It likely has unique features that drastically improve the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be optimal as they leave the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. It can be a bit disorienting initially because people’s voices might sound different. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you might not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it right the first time is easier. The degree and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: They need to efficiently boost 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.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the proper power for your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. Even make a 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 planning how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Perhaps you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You can ask our opinion but the decision is yours. 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 fit in with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You’ll be using 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
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- You may prefer something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- To be completely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you may be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test 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
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If where you live is very humid, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid users frequently 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 find out “who done it”.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries handy, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just 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 connections. For some individuals, this might happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, a deliberate approach might be necessary 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 easiest ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit weird initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.