Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an impressive piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new pair. But new hearing aid users will wish somebody had informed them about certain things, as with any new technology.
Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid owners make and how to steer clear of them.
1. Not learning how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. It probably has unique features that drastically improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It might 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 sophisticated technology in such a rudimentary way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of external sounds.
Practice using your hearing aid in different places in order to learn how to attain the clearest sound quality. Test out how well you hear by getting a friend or family member to help you.
As with anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply raise and lower the volume.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
It’s not unusual for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be perfect from day one. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is well worth it according to those who are diligent.
Give yourself a few days, after getting home, to get used to your new situation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you will need to go slow and use your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you are only talking. It can be a bit disorienting at first because people’s voices might not sound the same. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can only be patient with yourself.
3. Being dishonest about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing exam
Responding truthfully to the questions during your hearing test will assure you get fitted with the optimum hearing aid technology.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been completely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier 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 degree and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an illustration, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. Others are better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle several requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be simple to place and take out, and they need to amplify the sounds around you efficiently. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.
During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:
- Do hearing tests to adjust the proper power for your hearing aid.
- Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).
5. Not tracking your results
Once you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having a hard time hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak effectiveness and comfort.
6. Not anticipating how you’ll utilize your hearing aids
Water-resistant hearing aids are available. However, water can severely damage others. Perhaps 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 must be yours. You won’t wear 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 if you really need certain functions, you shouldn’t settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- Perhaps you want a high level of automation. Or maybe you enjoy having more control over the volume. Is an extended battery life important to you?
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be sure you’re entirely satisfied.
- You might care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or perhaps you want to wear them with style.
Throughout the fitting process we can address many of the challenges with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid makers will let you demo the devices before making a decision. This trial period will help you figure out which brand will be best for your requirements.
7. Not correctly maintaining your hearing aids
Moisture is a real challenge for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. It’s not a good idea to store your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take showers.
Before you handle your hearing aid or its battery, be certain to clean your hands. 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 instructions.
Taking simple actions like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
Frequently, it’s the worst time when new hearing aid owners learn this one. All of a sudden, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries die 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 nearby, even if you recently changed them. Don’t miss out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
You might assume that your hearing aids will do all of the work when you first purchase them. But it’s not only your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting all those sounds.
You can begin to work on restoring those ear-to-brain connections after you get your new hearing aids. For some people, this might happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But other people will need a more structured approach to rebuild their ability to hear. The following are a couple of common strategies.
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 little weird at first 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 keep practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. 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 understanding) speech again.
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