Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid user can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know 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.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you don’t 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. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Just raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from the first day. 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. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re only talking. Simple voices might not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you could 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 work best for you.
For instance, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: They need to effectively boost 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 individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Do hearing tests to calibrate the correct power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make personalized, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have advanced features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision is yours. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- You might want something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- To be completely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- How obvious your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you may 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 meet your needs.
7. Not correctly taking care of your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant issue for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to wash your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be impacted by the oils naturally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to discover who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like many electronics, battery life varies depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Not practicing 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 just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This may take place quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, an intentional approach might be required to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. It may feel a bit silly at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling 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 appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.