Congrats! 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 users will wish someone had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It may 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-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. 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 10X better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, 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. Simple voices might sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be sure you get the correct 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. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. 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, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to manage several requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal needs.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the appropriate power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
Once 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 a hard time hearing in a big room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels great, make a note. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can severely damage others. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You can ask our opinion but the decision must be 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’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of individual. How much battery life will you need?
- To be entirely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you might be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Not correctly maintaining your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Consistently wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be impacted 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 keep a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like most electronics, battery life varies depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t miss out on something important 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 the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this may happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But others will need a more focused strategy to restore 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. Even if you feel a little odd initially 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 keep practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can purchase (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. 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.