Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive 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 someone had informed them about.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It likely has exclusive features that drastically improve the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated 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 settings in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. It usually takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s very worth it.
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. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. It can be a bit 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 use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it straight the first time is better. 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.
As an illustration, 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. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to place and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal needs.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately 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 once you get fitted. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a big room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. Even make a note if everything feels great. This can help us make personalized, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach peak comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can severely damage others. Some have state-of-the-art features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. Only you know what state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to 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 quite a while. 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 sure you’re completely satisfied.
- You might prefer something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. Is a longer battery life important to you?
Many challenges that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with through the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a real challenge for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these basic steps.
8. Not having spare batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this concept at the worst times. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the regions 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 might happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But other people will need a more focused plan to restore their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to rebuild those connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the essential work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
You can always try 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. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.