Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern technology. But new hearing aid users will wish someone had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid owner can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It likely has exclusive features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, movie theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a rudimentary way, without learning about these features, you can easily become stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of outside sounds.
Practice using 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 assist you.
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 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 owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This assumption is normally not how it works. It usually takes up to a month for most new users to get comfortable with their new hearing aids. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are persistent.
After you get 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. You might need to wear it in short intervals.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re only talking. It can be somewhat disorienting initially because voices may sound different. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit new places and use the hearing aid for more extended 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 assessment
In order to be certain you get the right hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get another test if you realize you might not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the degree 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 people 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 manage: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels great, make a note. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Perhaps you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must choose for yourself. You won’t wear your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
A few more things to think about
- To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
- You might care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- You may want something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you require?
Many challenges that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved during the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to try out the devices before deciding. This test period will help you determine which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not properly maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a significant challenge for most hearing aids. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid location. Keeping your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers may not be the best idea.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered normally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these basic steps.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. When you’re about to learn who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t miss something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting 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.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. This might happen quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But for other people, a deliberate strategy may be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a little weird 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). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can buy (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 work as reading something out loud, you hear words while reading them. This will teach the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.