Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be greatly improved if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Check out how well you hear by asking 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 giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s very worth it.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. Familiar voices might not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make corrections.
Slowly start to go to new places and use the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing appointment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The level and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular type of hearing aid. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
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 easy to put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
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
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels great. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Perhaps you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You might ask our opinion but the decision must be yours. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t work with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. How much battery life will you need?
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- To be entirely 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. Also, you may be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not correctly caring for your hearing aids
Moisture is a real issue for most hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. It’s not a good idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. Oils found normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the duration of the batteries.
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 having spare batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this concept at the worst times. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Like most electronics, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the external environment. So even if you recently changed your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may 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.
You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. This may take place quite naturally for some individuals, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But others will need a more structured plan to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit strange at first you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. 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 understand speech again.