Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality.
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It probably has exclusive features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different settings like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice using your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to help you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply turn the volume up and down.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This assumption is usually not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
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 wear it in short intervals.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because people’s voices might sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly start to visit new places and use 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 proper hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it right the first time is better. The level and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
For example, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to juggle a few requirements at once: They need to effectively boost 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 resolved during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify 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. If you have problems hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels great. This can help us make personalized, minute changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. However, water can seriously damage others. Some have advanced 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. 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 several years. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to consider
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re totally satisfied.
- How visible your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues with regards to 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. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious challenge for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid users frequently learn this concept at the worst times. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So always keep an extra set of batteries handy, even if you just changed them. Don’t miss 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 get them. But it’s not just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This might take place quite naturally for some individuals, particularly if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more structured plan to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. 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.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can buy (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. 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 making sense of) speech again.