Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid owners will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
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, including smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. Additionally, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated 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 quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
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. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are just talking. Simple 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 wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing assessments
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure 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 might have been, go back and ask to be retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
For example, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle several requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to amplify the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your personal requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- 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
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels great. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have sophisticated features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. 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 if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- You may prefer something that is really automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. How much battery life will you need?
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re completely satisfied.
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not appropriately taking care of your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid place. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the duration of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps like these will increase 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 learn who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you just changed your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting 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 regions 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 links. For some individuals, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But others will need a more focused plan to restore their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It may feel a bit silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always try audiobooks. You can buy (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 used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.