Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But new hearing aid owners will wish somebody had informed them about 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. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can probably sync wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you use this advanced technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily get 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 places. 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. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just raise and lower the volume.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. It normally takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s very worth it.
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’re just talking. Familiar voices may not sound the same initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required 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 lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you may not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier 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 require a specific type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to juggle several requirements at the same time: They need to efficiently amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust 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. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. Only you know what state-of-the-art 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 a number of years. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- How visible your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- To be entirely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
Many issues that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with through the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to demo the devices before making a decision. This trial period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid
The majority of hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the money. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this lesson at the worst times. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So even if you just replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, 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 parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. This may take place quite naturally for some people, particularly if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, a deliberate approach might be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
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 bit silly at first, but don’t let that stop you. 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.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.