Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – a wonderful piece of modern technology. But, just like with all new devices, there will be things that hearing aid owners wish somebody had told them.
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 features. The hearing experience will be significantly enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different environments like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. 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 get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
Practice wearing your hearing aid in different settings in order to learn how to get the clearest sound quality. Ask a family member or friend to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
After a bit of practice, as with anything new, it will get easier. Just raising and lowering the volume won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that using these more advanced features will.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get frustrated. The time you take is well 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’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to use it in short intervals.
Start by just quietly talking with friends. Simple voices might sound different at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly begin to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have countless great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing test
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 retested if you realize you may not have been totally honest after you get your hearing aids. 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 have.
As an illustration, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular type of hearing aid. People who are dealing with mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
There are several requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously juggle: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be easy to put in and take out, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
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
It’s highly recommended that you take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels once you get fitted. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a large room. If your right ear seems tighter than your left, note that. Even note if everything feels right on. This can help us make custom, tiny changes to help your hearing aids reach optimum comfort and effectiveness.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. Others, however, can be damaged or even ruined by water. Perhaps you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
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 use.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for a long time. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Some other things to consider
- Perhaps you want a high level 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 important to you. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re completely satisfied.
Many issues that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed during the fitting process. What’s more, many hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to demo the devices before deciding. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. You might want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to wash your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the longevity of its battery can be effected by the oils normally present in your skin.
The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple actions like these will increase 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 owners learn this one. Suddenly, while you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die just as you’re about to learn “who done it”.
Like most electronic devices, battery life varies depending on your usage and the external environment. So even if you recently replaced your batteries, keep a spare set with you. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something important.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get 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 responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. This may happen quite naturally for some individuals, especially if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But for other people, a deliberate approach may be necessary to get your hearing firing on all cylinders again. A couple of common strategies include the following.
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. Even if you feel a little strange at first you should still practice like this. You’re doing the important work of connecting the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). 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 buy (or rent from the library) a physical copy of a book and the audiobook version together. Then, you read along with the book while the audiobook plays. You’ll hear a word as you’re reading it just like reading out loud. And that helps the hearing-and-language region of your brain get used to hearing (and understanding) speech again.