Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with all new devices, there are things that hearing aid owners wish someone had informed them about.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid owner can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be greatly improved if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it might have a special 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 become stuck in a rut. 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. Ask a family member or friend to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
After a little practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. 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 uncommon 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 entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Begin by just quietly talking with friends. Familiar voices might sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your level of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
Go back and get retested if you realize you might not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it right the first time is easier. The degree and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
As an example, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will need a particular type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will need different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to place and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you efficiently. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Do hearing tests to calibrate the appropriate power for 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 once you get fitted. If you have problems hearing in big rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. Even note if everything feels right on. This can help us make custom, tiny adjustments to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Some have sophisticated features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. Only you know what advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So if you really need certain features, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to think about
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you like having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- How visible your hearing aid is might be important to you. Or maybe you want to wear them with style.
- Consult with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. Also, you might be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This trial period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a serious challenge for the majority of hearing aids. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in an overly humid place. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils naturally found in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple actions like these will increase the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to have a set of spare batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to learn “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 changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss something significant.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
You may assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first get them. But it’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss, it’s also the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can start to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways once you get your new hearing aids. This may happen quite naturally for some individuals, particularly if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But for others, an intentional approach may be required to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. The following are a couple of common strategies.
Reading out loud
One of the most efficient ways you can recreate those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. It might feel a little foolish at first, but don’t let that stop you. You’re practicing reconnecting the feeling of saying words with the sounds they make. The more you create those connections, the better your hearing (and your hearing aid) will work.
You can always try 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 of that same text. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.