Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid owners will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be dramatically 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 connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. Additionally, it might have a specific 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 get stuck in a rut. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
Practice wearing 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.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s really worth it.
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. 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 just talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because people’s voices might not sound the same. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit 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 only be patient with yourself.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
In order to be certain you get the proper hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get retested if you realize you may not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s better if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
For instance, certain hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for those 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 juggle: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the proper 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 once you get fitted. If you have trouble hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. 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 take pleasure in certain activities.
We can give you some recommendations but you must choose for yourself. Only you know what state-of-the-art 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 and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- You may care about whether your hearing aid is visible. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- You may prefer something that is really automated. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
During the fitting process we can address many of the issues regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to try out the devices before making a decision. This test period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Failing to take sufficient care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a real problem for the majority of hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid place. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe may not be the best idea.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps 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 frequently 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.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you recently replaced them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this might happen quite naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But others will need a more focused strategy to restore their ability to hear. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. It might feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re doing the important 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 get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same work as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will train the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.