Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern technology. But, as with all new devices, there are 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 avoid them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It most likely has unique features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different settings like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. 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. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. It typically 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 persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices might sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
In order to be certain you get the proper hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get retested 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 have.
For example, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to handle 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. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can severely damage others. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. How much battery life will you need?
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed during the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid brands will allow you to demo the devices before deciding. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Not appropriately maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant issue for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Not getting 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”.
Like many electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this might happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, a deliberate approach may be required to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It may feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the important work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you establish 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 try audiobooks. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.