Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve just become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But, just like with any new device, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish someone had informed them about.
Let’s examine how a new hearing aid user can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Not knowing how hearing aids work
Or, more specifically, know how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be greatly enhanced if you know how to utilize advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.
It might be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. It might also have a setting that makes phone calls clearer.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply raise the volume of outside sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound quality, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. 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. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to giving you the hearing experience that utilizing these more advanced features will.
2. Thinking that your hearing will automatically improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think their hearing will be perfect as they leave the office. This is an incorrect assumption. Some people 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 experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start by just talking quietly with friends. Simple voices may sound different initially, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re talking too loud and make the necessary adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have many wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not being honest about your degree of hearing loss during your hearing assessments
Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing test will ensure you get fitted with the proper hearing aid technology.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you may have been, go back and ask to be retested. Getting it right the first time is easier. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the degree and kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing.
As an illustration, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a specific type of hearing aid. Others will be better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.
4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting
Your hearing aids need to juggle a few requirements at the same time: They need to efficiently 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 resolved during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of 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 after you get fitted. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. With this knowledge, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak efficiency and comfort.
6. Not planning how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Water-resistant hearing aids do exist. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Maybe 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 is yours. Only you know what state-of-the-art features you’ll actually use and that’s worth committing to because if the hearing aids don’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t wear them.
You’ll be using your hearing aid for quite a while. So if you really need certain functions, you don’t want to settle for less.
A few more things to contemplate
- Maybe you want a high degree of automation. Or perhaps you enjoy having more control over the volume. How much battery life will you need?
- How noticeable your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
- To be entirely satisfied, talk about these preferences before your fitting.
Many challenges that arise with regards to fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be resolved through the fitting process. Also, you may be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a particular brand of hearing aid would be right for you.
7. Failing to take proper care of your hearing aid
Moisture is a significant challenge for most hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid location. It’s not a good idea to store 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. The life of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils normally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Instead, clean it according to 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. Suddenly, when you’re watching your favorite show, your batteries quit just as you’re about to find out “who done it”.
Like most electronics, battery life fluctuates depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you recently changed them. Don’t miss out on something important because of an unpredictable battery.
9. Neglecting your hearing exercises
When you first get your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not always 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 affected by hearing loss not only your ears.
Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of rebuilding some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some individuals, this might happen rather naturally and this is especially true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, a deliberate approach may be required 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 restore those connections between your ears and your brain is to spend some time reading out loud. Even if you feel a bit weird at first you should still practice like this. You’re doing the essential work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you keep practicing.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of reading something out loud yourself, then you can always go the audiobook route. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. 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. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.