Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine common mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It probably has unique features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. Additionally, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you fail to learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Check out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to assist you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This assumption is usually not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. It can be a bit disorienting at first because voices may sound different. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.
Slowly start to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it straight the first time is better. The level and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an example, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: They need to effectively boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual needs.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Do hearing tests to calibrate the correct 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 after you get fitted. If you have problems hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, make a note of that. If everything feels great, make a note. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can significantly damage others. Perhaps you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
You might ask our opinion but the choice is yours. 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 wear them.
You’ll be wearing your hearing aid for quite a while. 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 care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You might want something that is very automated. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
- To be entirely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
Many issues that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you might be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are quite sensitive to moisture. If where you live is very humid, getting a dehumidifier may be worth the investment. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be impacted by the oils naturally found 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 followed.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not having 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.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t miss out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this might happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But others will need a more focused approach to restore their ability to hear. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to rebuild those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit odd at first you should still practice like this. You’re doing the essential 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 go the audiobook route. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.