Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can avoid them.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has exclusive features that significantly 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 most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you fail to learn about these features, 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 places. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you are only talking. Familiar voices may sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing appointment
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you may have been, come back and ask to be retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to place and remove, and they need to amplify the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, 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
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels great. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can seriously damage others. Perhaps you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t work 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 be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
A few more things to think about
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re entirely satisfied.
- How obvious your hearing aid is might be important to you. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- You may prefer something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. How much battery life will you need?
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you demo the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate 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 simple steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this concept at the worst times. Suddenly, while 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 outside environment and how you use it. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, an intentional strategy may be required to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can recreate those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a bit strange initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience 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 try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.