Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid owners will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It likely has exclusive features that drastically improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, 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 get stuck in a rut. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly 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 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.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re just talking. It can be a bit disorienting at first because voices might not sound the same. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly start to go to new places and use the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing test
In order to be certain you get the right hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you might not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The level and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be easy 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 personal requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have advanced features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. Only you know which state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t work with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
A few more things to think about
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.
- You may want something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you demo the devices before deciding. This trial period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the money. 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 effect how well the hearing aid functions and the life 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. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. 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 out on something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. For some people, this may happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But others will need a more focused strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It may feel a little foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. 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.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. 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. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.