Congratulations! 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 users will wish someone had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced 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. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a family member or friend 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. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will instantly improve
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 usually not how it works. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. 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. Usually, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Familiar voices may not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about the volume of your own voice 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 in front 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 ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you may have been, go back and ask to be retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
For example, 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
Your hearing aids need to manage a few requirements at the same time: They need to efficiently boost 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 intended to correctly calibrate all three of those factors 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
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make custom, tiny adjustments to help your hearing aids reach peak comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You might ask our opinion but the decision is yours. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit 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 if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- You may want something that is really automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. Also, you may be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious issue for the majority of hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the money. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. 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. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions 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. For some people, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But others will need a more focused strategy to restore their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the best ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. 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. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.