Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It most likely has exclusive features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids nowadays 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. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This is an incorrect assumption. It usually 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 easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Simple voices might sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required 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 countless wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing test
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you may not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For example, some hearing aids are better for individuals 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 a few requirements at once: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual needs.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- 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
It’s highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. If you have problems hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids
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 is yours. Only you know what advanced 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 if you really need certain features, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- You might want something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of individual. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re completely satisfied.
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you might be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Not properly maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant challenge for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid place. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils naturally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have 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 die 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 an extra set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something important.
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 work. But it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on restoring 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 somewhat recent. But others will need a more focused approach to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
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 little strange at first you should still practice like this. You’re doing the essential work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
If you don’t like 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, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.