Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, as with any new device, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had told them.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It most likely has exclusive features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
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.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. It usually takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. 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 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 quiet setting with a friend where you are only talking. Familiar voices might 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 wear your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Being untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing test
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and ask to be retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The level and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an illustration, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular 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 several 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 put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the correct power for your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
It’s highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. If you have difficulty hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels right on. This can help us make custom, minute changes to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have advanced features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision is yours. Only you know which state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t work with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- You may prefer something that is very automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of individual. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
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 allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not correctly maintaining your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally present in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid users frequently learn this lesson at the worst times. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
Like many electronics, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be an assumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this may happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But other people will need a more structured plan to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical 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 silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the essential work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.