Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But, as with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid owners wish someone had informed them about.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. The hearing experience will be significantly improved if you know how to use advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a family member or friend to help you so you can test 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. Thinking that your hearing will instantly 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 is an incorrect assumption. It usually takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you are just talking. Simple voices might sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear 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 exam
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you could have been, go back and ask to be retested. 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 will work best for you.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Neglecting 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 easy to put in and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal needs.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to calibrate the correct power for 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 feels and performs. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a big room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make personalized, minute changes to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. 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. 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 if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- To be very satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- How visible your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. How much battery life will you need?
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. 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 a sense of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious problem for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect 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
New hearing aid wearers often learn this concept at the worst times. 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 most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So even if you recently changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not only your ears.
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 connections. For some individuals, this may happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for others, a deliberate approach may be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of common strategies.
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. Even if you feel a bit weird initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you create 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 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 while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.