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 users will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, just like with any new technology.
Let’s go over nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how you can avoid them.
1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. It likely has exclusive features that significantly enhance the hearing experience in different settings like restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
Your wireless devices, like smartphones and televisions can probably connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. In addition, it may have a special setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this advanced 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 raise the volume of outside sounds.
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.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This isn’t a correct assumption. It usually takes up to a month for most new users to become comfortable with their new hearing aids. But don’t get frustrated. They also say it’s very worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. You might need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. Familiar voices may sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly start to go to new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being truthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing exam
In order to be sure you get the right hearing aid technology, it’s essential to answer any questions we may ask truthfully.
Go back and get another test if you realize you might not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. Getting it right the first time is better. The hearing aid type and style that will be ideal for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for individuals with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to put in and take out, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you may:
- Undergo hearing tests to calibrate the correct power for 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 feels and performs. If you have trouble hearing in large rooms, make a note of that. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make custom, tiny adjustments to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more sophisticated features.
You might ask our opinion but the decision must be yours. You won’t use your hearing aid if it doesn’t fit in with 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.
A few more things to contemplate
- You may care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
- You might want something that is extremely automated. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- To be completely satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
Many challenges that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be dealt with during the fitting process. 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. Not correctly caring for your hearing aids
Moisture is a real issue for the majority of hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. It’s not a good idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the duration of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be followed.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Not having spare batteries
Often, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid users learn this one. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep an extra set with you. Don’t miss something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting sound are also impacted 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. This might occur quite naturally for some people, especially if the hearing loss was rather recent. But for others, a deliberate approach may be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the best ways to restore those pathways between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a little odd initially you should still practice like this. You’re practicing reconnecting the experience of saying words with the sounds they make. Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
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 together. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get used to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.
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