Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern technology. 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 eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Failing to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has unique features that significantly improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
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 basic way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different places. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply 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 automatically improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Familiar voices might sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly begin to go to new places and use the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being honest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing appointment
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and ask to be retested. Getting it straight the first time is easier. The level and type of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
For example, 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 effectively amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and remove, 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 might:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the proper power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a large room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, make a note of that. If everything feels right, make a note. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Perhaps you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You might ask our opinion but the choice is 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’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
- To be very satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
During the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues with regards to 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. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. 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 wash your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. 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. Failing to have a spare set of batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to discover 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 just replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But it’s not only 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’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this may happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for others, an intentional strategy may be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. 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.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. 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 a word while you’re reading it. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.