Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can avoid them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. Additionally, 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 rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
In order to get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. 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. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because people’s voices might not sound the same. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss during your hearing exam
In order to be sure you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and get retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
As an illustration, individuals 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. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
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 easy to put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- 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
It’s highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. If you have difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have sophisticated features you may be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You’ll be wearing 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
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you need?
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- To be entirely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
Many issues that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved during the fitting process. Also, you might be able to try 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 properly caring for your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. Oils found naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
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 learn who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on your usage 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. Not practicing 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 it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this might 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. The following are a couple of common 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. Even if you feel a little strange 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 continue practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always try audiobooks. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.