Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But, just like with any new device, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had informed them about.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to avoid them.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality.
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has unique features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different settings like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. 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 rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of external sounds.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re only talking. Familiar voices may not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing assessments
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the proper 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 right the first time is better. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. Others will be better for people 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 manage: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to place and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, 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
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels great, make a note. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have advanced features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the choice is yours. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
- How visible your hearing aid is might be important to you. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re totally satisfied.
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. What’s more, many hearing aid makers will let you try out the devices before making a decision. This trial period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not correctly caring for your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested 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
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. When you’re about to discover who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like many electronics, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So even if you recently changed your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. This might occur quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But for others, an intentional strategy might be required to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit weird at first you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always try audiobooks. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book as 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 understanding) speech again.