Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But, just like with any new device, there are things that hearing aid owners wish someone had told them.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has exclusive features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it might have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you fail to learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Ask a family member or friend to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply turn the volume up and down.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This assumption is usually not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because people’s voices may not sound the same. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you could have been, come back and ask to be retested. But it’s easier 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 degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to manage several 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 factors for your individual requirements.
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 highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. 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. This can help us make personalized, minute changes to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can significantly damage others. Perhaps you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. 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 and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to consider
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You might prefer something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re entirely satisfied.
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will let you try out the devices before deciding. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a real problem for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
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 nearby, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This may take place quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, a deliberate approach may be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
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 weird initially 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’re uncomfortable with 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 as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.