Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be greatly improved if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of external sounds.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Just raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to wear it in short intervals.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re just talking. It can be a bit disorienting at first because people’s voices might not sound the same. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use 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 untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the proper 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 straight the first time is better. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
For example, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to manage several requirements at the same time: They need to efficiently amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. 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 important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. Even make a note if everything feels great. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can seriously damage others. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. Only you know what advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t use 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.
A few more things to contemplate
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- You may prefer something that is very automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re entirely satisfied.
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. Also, you may 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. Not correctly caring for your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier may be worth the money. It’s a bad idea to store 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 duration of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this lesson at the worst times. All of a sudden, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Like many electronics, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t miss out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain connections after you get your new hearing aids. This may take place quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for other people, a deliberate strategy may be required to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of common strategies.
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 strange initially you should still practice like this. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always try audiobooks. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. 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 used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.