Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be dramatically improved 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, including 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 functions, 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 raise the volume of external sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different places. Check out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
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. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This is an incorrect assumption. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. Simple voices may sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
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 only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and get retested. Getting it straight the first time is easier. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
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 simple to put in and take out, and they need to boost the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual needs.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the appropriate power for 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 after you get fitted. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. Even note if everything feels great. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You might ask our opinion but the choice is yours. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to take into consideration
- How visible your hearing aid is might be important to you. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re entirely satisfied.
Many issues that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with during the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious challenge for most hearing aids. 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 is a bad idea.
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 impacted by the oils naturally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die 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 an extra set with you. Don’t miss out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be an assumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this might happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, a deliberate approach might be required to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. The following are a couple of prevalent 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. It may feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the important work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can buy (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 a word while you’re reading it. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.