Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid owner can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It most likely has exclusive features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. 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. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
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 day one. This assumption is usually not how it works. 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 easily worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because people’s voices may sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear 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 dishonest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and ask to be retested. Getting it straight 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.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a specific type of hearing aid. People who have 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 easy to place and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately 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 after you get fitted. 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. If everything feels great, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute changes to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll use your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can seriously damage others. Some have sophisticated features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision is yours. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of individual. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re completely satisfied.
Many challenges that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. Also, you may 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 requirements.
7. Not properly maintaining your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Keeping 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 certain to wash your hands. Oils found naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the duration of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But the parts of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain connections once you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this may happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for others, a deliberate approach might be required to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. 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 buy (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. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.