Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you fail to learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Check out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users 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’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your 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 somewhat disorienting initially because people’s voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
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 wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be certain you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The level and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to handle several requirements at the same time: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to place and remove, and they need to amplify the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual needs.
When you’re getting fitted, 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 important to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have trouble hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels right on. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can seriously damage others. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide 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 utilize.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for a long time. 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 contemplate
- How obvious your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re completely satisfied.
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. How much battery life will you need?
Many challenges that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved during the fitting process. Also, you may be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific 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. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. 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 purchase 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 begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. This might happen quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But for others, an intentional approach might be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. The following are a couple of prevalent 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 bit odd at first 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.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always try audiobooks. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. 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. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and understanding) speech again.