Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But, as with all new devices, there will be things that hearing aid wearers wish someone had told them.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. 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.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. 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 basic way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Check out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply 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 optimal as they walk out of the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new situation. 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’re just talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary 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 just be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing appointment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you might not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier 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.
As an example, individuals 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 call for different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to juggle several requirements at once: They need to efficiently amplify sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust the correct power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have trouble hearing in large 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 knowledge, we can customize 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 resistant to water. However, water can severely damage others. Perhaps you enjoy 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 a long time. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
A few more things to think about
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You might want something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. How much battery life will you require?
Many challenges that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with during the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you try out the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not properly taking care of your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. 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
New hearing aid users frequently learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to discover who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you just changed your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not only your ears.
You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain connections after you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this may happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But others will need a more structured plan to restore their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. 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 continue practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. 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 teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.