Congratulations! 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 told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be greatly enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Just raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This assumption is usually not how it works. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are only talking. Familiar voices may not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
In order to be certain you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get retested if you realize you may not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s better 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, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: 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. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to calibrate the proper 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 once 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 right on. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can significantly damage others. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
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 feature.
Some other things to consider
- You might prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life essential to you?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re totally satisfied.
- How visible your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Many issues that come up with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you demo the devices before making a decision. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious problem for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the money. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. Oils found normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
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. Not getting spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to find out who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like many electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the outside environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
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 the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. This may happen quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, an intentional approach may be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the essential work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always try audiobooks. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.