Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid owners will wish someone had told them certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid owner can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be greatly enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.
If you don’t learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of external sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Test out how well you hear by asking a friend or family member to assist you.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more sophisticated features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
Consistent with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s really worth it.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get accustomed to your 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 are only talking. Familiar voices might sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly begin to go to new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences in front of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing appointment
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing exam will ensure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
If you already have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, come back and ask to be retested. 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’re experiencing.
For example, some hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to manage a few requirements at the same time: 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. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to correctly calibrate all three of those factors for your personal requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have your ears accurately measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have problems hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. Even note if everything feels right on. With this knowledge, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. However, water can seriously 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 decision is yours. You won’t wear 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 a number of years. So you don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to take into consideration
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re completely satisfied.
- Perhaps you want a high degree of automation. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
- How noticeable your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
During the fitting process we can address many of the issues with regards to 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 test period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not properly caring for your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are quite sensitive to moisture. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid place. It’s a bad idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils normally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to collect earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not getting spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to discover “who done it”.
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 let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. 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 connections after you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this may happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, a deliberate approach may be necessary to get your hearing back to normal again. The following are a couple of prevalent strategies.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It might feel a little 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 establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can purchase (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. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will teach the language parts of your brain to hear speech again.