Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be dramatically improved if you know how to utilize advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
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 rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. 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 much better than when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This assumption is usually not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. 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 experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. It can be a bit disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly begin to go to new places and use the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you could have been, go back and ask to be retested. Getting it right the first time is better. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to manage several requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to place and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you efficiently. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
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. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, make a note of that. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Perhaps you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You might ask our opinion but the decision must be yours. Only you know what 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 use them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to consider
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you demo the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not properly maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant issue for most hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s not a good idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. Oils found normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.
8. Not having spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted 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. This may occur quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more focused plan to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to rebuild those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a little weird initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
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 as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.