Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a great piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
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, understand how your hearing aid works. It most likely has exclusive features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced technology in such a basic way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to help you.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. It usually takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s very worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you are only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly start to go to new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being dishonest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you could have been, go back and get retested. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The level and type of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
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 simple to put in and remove, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to correctly calibrate all three of those variables for your individual needs.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Undergo hearing tests to adjust the appropriate power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. If you have difficulty hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not foreseeing how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have state-of-the-art features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. Only you know which state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t fit in 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 functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
Throughout the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will let you demo 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 fit the bill.
7. Not appropriately taking care of your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant issue for the majority of hearing aids. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s not a good idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Consistently wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the duration of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to discover who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Like most electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you just changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t miss out on something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be an assumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. For some people, this might happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for others, a deliberate strategy might be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to rebuild those connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a bit silly at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the essential work of linking 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 personally, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. 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 region of your brain get used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.