Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, as with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish someone had told them.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to avoid them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It probably has unique features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different settings 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 use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing 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 giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This assumption is usually not how it works. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s very worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. Familiar voices might not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly begin to go to new places and use the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
In order to be certain you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The degree and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
For example, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: 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 efficiently. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- 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. If you have difficulty hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute changes to help your hearing aids achieve peak comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have sophisticated features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some recommendations but you must decide for yourself. Only you know what 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 use them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to consider
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re entirely satisfied.
Many challenges that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with during the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you try out the devices before deciding. During this test period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Not appropriately caring for your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be followed.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like many electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the external environment. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something important.
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 responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get 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 for other people, a deliberate approach might be required to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those connections 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 allow that to stop you. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). 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. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.