Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern technology. But, just like with all new devices, there are 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 to avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It most likely has unique features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
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. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to help you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Simply raising and lowering the volume 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
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. It can be a bit disorienting at first because people’s voices may not sound the same. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
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 wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
In order to be sure you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you may have been, come back and ask to be retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
For example, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: They need to efficiently amplify sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of 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 once you get fitted. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a big room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, note that. Even make a note if everything feels right on. This can help us make personalized, tiny adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. 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 decision must be yours. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
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.
Some other things to consider
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- To be very satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will allow you to try out the devices before making a decision. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a significant problem for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Keeping 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. Oils found naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid users 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 quit without warning.
Like most electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you just replaced them. Don’t miss out on something important because of an unpredictable battery.
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 affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. This might occur quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But others will need a more focused strategy 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 restore those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a little silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling 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 try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive 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 teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.