Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Test 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. Just turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid users 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 become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. It can be a bit disorienting initially because people’s voices might sound different. 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.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the correct 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. Getting it right 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 instance, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are several 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 place and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Do 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
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have problems hearing in large 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 great. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. 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 sophisticated features.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose for yourself. Only you know what state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to consider
- You might prefer something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re entirely satisfied.
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you might be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This trial period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not properly caring for your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are quite sensitive to moisture. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. Storing 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 clean your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be impacted by the oils naturally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps like these will improve 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 owners learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you just changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some individuals, this may happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for others, an intentional strategy 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 most efficient ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a little odd at first you should still practice like this. You’re doing the important work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you create those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can purchase (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 as 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 accustomed to hearing (and understanding) speech again.