Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern technology. But, just like with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had told them.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s functions. It most likely has unique features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. 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 family member or friend to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
As with 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 instant improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to wear it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. Familiar voices might 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 many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure 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, come back and ask to be retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The degree and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an illustration, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle several requirements at the same time: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to put in and take out, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to identify 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 difficulty hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels great. This can help us make custom, tiny changes to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. However, water can severely damage others. Some have advanced features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
We can give you some recommendations but you must decide for yourself. Only you know what advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for a long time. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- How obvious your hearing aid is might be important to you. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- You might want something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- To be entirely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
Many challenges that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed during the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid brands will allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. This test period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The life 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 accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a set of spare 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 critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So even if you just changed your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss 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 heavy lifting. But it’s not just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. This may occur quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, an intentional approach may be required to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a little weird initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can purchase (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 as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.