Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
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 nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
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.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re only talking. Simple voices might not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make corrections.
Slowly begin to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
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 crucial to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go 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 ideal for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for individuals 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
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to place and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust the appropriate power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. If you have difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels great, make a note. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You can ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. Only you know which state-of-the-art 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’ll be wearing your hearing aid for a long time. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- You might prefer something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
Many challenges that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved during the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you try out the devices before deciding. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Not properly maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a real challenge for the majority of hearing aids. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid place. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Consistently wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to have a spare set of batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. When you’re about to discover who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss out on something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing 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 heavy lifting. But it’s not just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this may happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But others will need a more structured plan to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
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. Even if you feel a bit odd initially you should still practice like this. 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.
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 of that same text. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.