Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with all new devices, there will be things that hearing aid owners wish somebody had informed them about.
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 probably has unique features that considerably enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice wearing the hearing aid in different places. Ask a family member or friend to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.
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 isn’t a correct assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are persistent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices might sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and get retested. Getting it right the first time is easier. The level and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an illustration, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with 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 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 correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust the appropriate power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately 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 feels and performs. If you have problems hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make personalized, tiny changes to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have advanced features you might be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t work with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to consider
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- How obvious your hearing aid is may be important to you. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you may be able to try out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would fit the bill.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient 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 may be worth the money. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Always wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these basic steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit 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 recently changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. This may take place quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But other people will need a more structured plan 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 restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. It may feel a bit silly at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the essential work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). The more you establish 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 try audiobooks. 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 job as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.