Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had informed them about 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. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
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.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. Simply raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend where you’re only talking. It can be a bit disorienting at first because people’s voices might sound different. Ask about your own voice volume and make corrections.
Slowly begin to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing assessments
In order to be certain you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it straight the first time is better. The degree and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to place and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately 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 problems hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels great. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid in advance
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can severely damage others. Maybe you take pleasure in certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
We can give you some recommendations but you must decide for yourself. Only you know what advanced 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 several years. So if you really need certain features, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re entirely satisfied.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life essential to you?
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
Many challenges that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you might 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 specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.
7. Neglecting to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious problem for the majority of hearing aids. If where you live is very humid, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Consistently wash your hands before handling the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to discover who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Like many electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on your usage and the outside environment. So even if you just changed your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be an assumption, 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 just your ears.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this might happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But other people will need a more structured plan to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a little strange at first you should still practice like this. 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 go the audiobook route. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then, you read along with the book as the audiobook plays. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.