Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with any new device, there will be things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to avoid them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily become 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 get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
As with 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 automatically improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. It generally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. The time you take is well 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 won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because voices might not sound the same. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear 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 honest about your level of hearing loss during your hearing exam
In order to be certain you get the right hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
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 degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be better for people 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 juggle: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Do hearing tests to calibrate the appropriate power for 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 after you get fitted. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels right on. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can severely damage others. Perhaps you take pleasure in 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. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
A few more things to think about
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be important to you. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
- You may want something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you may 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 specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Not correctly taking care of your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant problem for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. 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 according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Failing to have a spare set of batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Like many electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t miss out on something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This might occur quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more structured approach to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
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. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the essential work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you create those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can buy (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. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.