Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. 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 user can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has exclusive features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different environments like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It might be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it might have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you fail to learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a basic way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of external sounds.
In order to get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Check out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to help you.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. And your hearing experience will be much 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 users to think that their hearing will be optimal from day one. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. It can be a bit disorienting at first because voices might not sound the same. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing appointment
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that perhaps you weren’t as honest as you may have been, go back and ask to be retested. But it’s easier 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 degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
For instance, some 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. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted
There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to place and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual needs.
When you’re getting fitted, 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
It’s important that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels after you get fitted. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a large room. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. Even make a note if everything feels right on. This can help us make personalized, minute adjustments to help your hearing aids reach peak comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize 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 sophisticated features.
You might ask our opinion but the choice must be yours. 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 wearing your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
Some other things to take into consideration
- How obvious your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re totally satisfied.
- You might want something that is really automated. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
Many issues that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. In addition, many hearing aid makers will allow you to try out the devices before making a decision. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a real challenge for most hearing aids. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
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 duration of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these simple steps.
8. Not getting spare batteries
New hearing aid wearers frequently learn this concept at the worst times. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you recently changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But it’s not just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on restoring those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. This might happen quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But other people will need a more focused approach to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common strategies.
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 practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
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 of that same text. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.