Congratulations! 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 any new device, there will be things that hearing aid wearers wish someone had told them.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid owner can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Neglecting to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be significantly improved if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might 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 become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a family member or friend to help you so you can check how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Just turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be optimal as they leave the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. It typically takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new situation. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because people’s 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 lots of great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss at your hearing appointment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it straight the first time is easier. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
As an illustration, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: They need to efficiently amplify 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 intended to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal needs.
When you’re getting fitted, you might:
- Do hearing tests to calibrate the correct power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. If you have difficulty hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, note that. Even make a note if everything feels right on. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can severely damage others. Some have advanced features you might be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You can ask our opinion but the decision must be yours. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and only you know what features you will use.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain features, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- How obvious your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- You may want something that is very automated. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you require?
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
Throughout 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. This trial period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not properly caring for your hearing aids
Moisture is a real issue for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Consistently wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found normally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be implemented.
Taking simple steps like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not having spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. All of a sudden, when 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 just 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 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 work. But it’s not just your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. This may take place quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But others will need a more structured plan to restore their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common 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 let that stop you. You’re doing the important 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’re uncomfortable with 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 together. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. This does the same work 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.