Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But, just like with any new device, there will be things that hearing aid owners wish someone had told them.
Let’s go over 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 significantly improved 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. Additionally, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
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 these days can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Just raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners 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 stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed 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 talking quietly with friends. Familiar voices may sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing appointment
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
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 better if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to manage a few requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to put in and take out, 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 might:
- Do hearing tests to calibrate the correct 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 seems tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can seriously damage others. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose 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 use.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to take into consideration
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you may be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Keeping 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. Oils found naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the life 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 increased by taking these basic steps.
8. Not having spare batteries
Frequently, 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 discover “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you recently changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. This might occur quite naturally for some people, particularly if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more structured strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a little strange at first you should still practice like this. You’re doing the essential 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.
You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. 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 hear speech again.