Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern technology. But, just like with any new device, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish somebody had told them.
Let’s examine 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 likely has unique features that considerably enhance the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
In order 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 check how well you can hear.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you simply turn the volume up and down.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
Consistent 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 people say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Begin by just talking quietly with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because voices might not sound the same. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss during your hearing appointment
In order to be sure you get the proper hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and get retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for 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 amplify the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of 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. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make personalized, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. 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.
You can ask our opinion but the decision 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 use them.
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
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You may want something that is very automated. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
During the fitting process we can address many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid makers will allow you to try out the devices before deciding. During this test 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 very sensitive to moisture. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone 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.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
Like most electronics, battery life varies depending on your usage and the external environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you just changed them. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
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 affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this might happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But other people will need a more focused strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a bit weird initially you should still practice like this. You’re doing the essential work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you create 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 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 while the audiobook plays. This does the same work 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.