Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody 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, understand how your hearing aid works. It likely has exclusive features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
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. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of outside sounds.
In order to get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. 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 little practice. 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 users to think that their hearing will be perfect from the first day. This assumption is normally not how it works. It generally 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.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because people’s voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit new places and use the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the proper 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 better if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. Others are better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- 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 once 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 make a note if everything feels right on. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. However, water can severely damage others. Some have state-of-the-art features you may be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision must be yours. You won’t wear 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 several years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to consider
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- To be entirely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
Many challenges that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you might be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a significant challenge for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the money. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The performance of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils normally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this concept 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 outside environment and how you use it. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You may 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 impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This may occur quite naturally for some people, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, an intentional strategy might be required to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to rebuild those connections between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a little strange at first 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). The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can buy (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 understanding) speech again.