Congratulations! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern tech. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had told them certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid user can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be greatly improved 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. Additionally, it might have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
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 basic way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make the sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. Just turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This is an incorrect assumption. 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.
Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get accustomed to your new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Familiar voices may sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can just be patient with yourself.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure 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 easier if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.
As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. 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 juggle: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be simple to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is meant to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the correct power for your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. If you have difficulty hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. If your right ear feels tighter than your left, note that. If everything feels right, make a note. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not thinking about how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Some have advanced features you may 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. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle and only you know what features you will utilize.
You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to take into consideration
- 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?
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re totally satisfied.
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
Many challenges that come up regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed during the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid brands will allow you to try out the devices before making a decision. This trial period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not appropriately caring for your hearing aids
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. 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 may not be the best idea.
Consistently wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid functions and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a set of spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. When you’re about to find out who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So even if you just changed your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also affected by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to start the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. For some people, this might happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss developed recently. But for other people, an intentional strategy might be required to get your hearing back to normal again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those pathways between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a bit odd initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you establish those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing 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 hear speech again.
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