9 Errors Every New Hearing Aid Owner Makes

Hand written blue letters spelling the words common mistakes on a lined paper notebook

Congrats! Modern hearing aids are an amazing piece of technology, and you’ve recently become the proud owner of a shiny new set. But new hearing aid owners will wish somebody had told them certain things, as with any new technology.

Let’s look at nine typical mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can avoid them.

1. Not knowing how hearing aids work

Or, more specifically, understand how your hearing aid works. The hearing experience will be significantly improved if you know how to use advanced features for different environments 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 don’t learn about these functions, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids nowadays can do more than make the sound louder.

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.

Like anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. And your hearing experience will be much better than when you simply turn the volume up and down.

2. Expecting immediate improvement in your hearing

It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid users to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This isn’t a correct assumption. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. The time you take is easily worth it according to those who are persistent.

After you get home, give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new 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’re only talking. It can be a bit disorienting initially because people’s voices might not sound the same. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.

Slowly increase the time you wear your hearing aids and progressively add new places to visit.

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 assessment

In order to be certain you get the ideal hearing aid technology, it’s crucial to answer any questions we may ask honestly.

If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you might have been, go back and ask to be retested. Getting it straight the first time is better. The level and kind of hearing loss will identify the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.

As an example, people with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular type of hearing aid. Others are better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.

4. Not getting a hearing aid fitting

There are numerous requirements that your hearing aids need to simultaneously manage: They need to effectively amplify sound, they need to be simple to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. All three of those variables will be addressed during your fitting.

During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:

  • Have your hearing tested to identify the power level of your hearing aid.
  • Have your ears precisely measured or have molds made (or both).

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. If you have difficulty 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. With this information, we can customize the settings of your hearing aid so it works at peak efficiency and comfort.

6. Not anticipating how you’ll use your hearing aids

Some hearing aids are water-resistant. However, water can significantly damage others. Some have advanced features you may be willing to pay more for because you take pleasure in certain activities.

We can give you some recommendations 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 work with your lifestyle you won’t use them.

You and your hearing aid will be together for several 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

  • How noticeable your hearing aid is might be something you’re worried about. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
  • To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences before your fitting.
  • You might want something that is really automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you need?

During the fitting process we can deal with many of the issues with regards to lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. 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 a sense of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would be right for you.

7. Neglecting to take proper care of your hearing aid

Moisture is a serious issue for most hearing aids. You may want to get a dehumidifier if you live in an extremely humid place. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people bathe is a bad idea.

Always wash your hands before handling 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 implemented.

The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.

8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries

New hearing aid wearers often learn this concept at the worst times. When you’re about to learn who did it at the critical moment of your favorite show, your batteries die without warning.

Like many electronic devices, battery life fluctuates depending on how you use it and the outside environment. So always keep a spare set of batteries handy, even if you just changed them. Don’t allow an unpredictable battery to cause you to miss out on something important.

9. Not practicing your hearing exercises

When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be a presumption, and it’s not always a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But it’s not just your ears that are affected by hearing loss, it’s also the regions of your brain in charge of interpreting all those sounds.

You can begin to work on rebuilding those ear-to-brain pathways after you get your new hearing aids. For some individuals, this might happen rather naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But others will need a more structured approach to restore their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.

Reading out loud

Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. Even if you feel a bit strange 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.

Audiobooks

You can always try audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t attractive to you. You can purchase (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. 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 accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.

Resources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10900/

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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