Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid owner can eliminate 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 probably has exclusive features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you fail to 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. Hearing aids nowadays 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 places. 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 little practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. It usually 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.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because people’s voices may sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you may 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 best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. 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 put in 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 may:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust the appropriate power for your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. Make a note if you are having difficulty hearing in a big room. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, make a note of that. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have sophisticated features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the choice is yours. Only you know which advanced 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 wear them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to consider
- To be entirely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- You might want something that is very automated. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- How obvious your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with through the fitting process. Also, you might be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This demo 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 significant challenge for most hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the money. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. This may take place quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more focused approach to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It may feel a bit silly 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 continue practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can purchase (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. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.