Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can avoid them.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It likely has exclusive features that considerably enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of outside sounds.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
Consistent 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 generally takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re only talking. Familiar voices might not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make corrections.
Slowly begin to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
In order to be certain you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you could have been, come back and ask to be retested. Getting it right the first time is better. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For example, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at the same time: 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 boost the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
After 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 trouble hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. 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. However, water can severely damage others. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You can ask our opinion but the choice is yours. Only you know what state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re totally satisfied.
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers 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. Not appropriately taking care of your hearing aids
Moisture is a real challenge for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Not having spare 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 crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
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 out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. 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 restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this might happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for others, an intentional strategy might be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
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 work as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.