Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern tech. But, just like with any new device, there will be 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. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It likely has exclusive features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different settings such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it might 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-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of outside sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. 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 used to your new experience. 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 by just quietly talking with friends. It can be somewhat disorienting at first because people’s voices might not sound the same. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.
Slowly start to go to new places and wear the hearing aid for more extended periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Being untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing test
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it straight the first time is easier. The level and kind of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: They need to effectively boost sound, they need to be easy to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal needs.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a large room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even make a note if everything feels right on. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You can ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So if you really need certain features, you shouldn’t settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- How noticeable your hearing aid is might be important to you. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Many issues that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with through the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid makers will let you try out the devices before deciding. During this trial period, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Not correctly caring for your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are quite sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Consistently wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. 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. Failing to have a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid users often learn this lesson at the worst times. All of a sudden, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So always keep an extra set of batteries handy, even if you just changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This might take place quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But for other people, an intentional strategy may be required to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit weird initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you don’t like the idea of reading something out loud personally, then you can always try audiobooks. You can purchase (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version of that same text. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.