9 Mistakes Every New Hearing Aid User Makes

HEARING TIPS

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

Congratulations! Modern hearing aids are an impressive 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 assess how a new hearing aid owner can eliminate the 9 most common hearing aid mistakes.

1. Failing to comprehend hearing aid functionality

To put it simply, learn your hearing aid’s functions. The hearing experience will be dramatically enhanced if you know how to use advanced features for different settings like on the street, at the movies, or in a restaurant.

Your wireless devices, including smartphones and televisions can most likely connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. It may also have a setting that makes phone conversations clearer.

If you don’t learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut by using your technologically-sophisticated hearing aid in a basic way. Hearing aids these days 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 friend or family member to help you so you can check how well you can hear.

As with anything new, it will get easier after a bit of practice. Simply turning the volume up and down won’t even come close to providing the hearing experience that using these more sophisticated features will.

2. Thinking that your hearing will immediately improve

It’s not uncommon for a new hearing aid owner to think that their hearing will be optimal from the first day. This assumption is normally not how it works. Some say it takes a month or more before they’re entirely comfortable with their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s very worth it.

Give yourself a few days, after you get home, to get used to your 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 by just quietly talking with friends. Simple voices might not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask about the volume of your own voice and make adjustments.

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

You will have wonderful hearing experiences ahead of you if you can just be patient with yourself.

3. Not being honest about your level of hearing loss during your hearing appointment

Responding honestly to the questions during your hearing exam will assure you get fitted with the correct hearing aid technology.

If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you may have been, come back and get retested. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The degree and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that will work best for you.

For example, some hearing aids are better for people with hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others will be better for those with mid-frequency hearing loss and so on.

4. Neglecting to have your hearing aid fitted

Your hearing aids need to manage a few requirements at the same time: They need to efficiently boost sound, they need to be simple to put in and remove, and they need to be comfortable in your ears. Your hearing aid fitting is intended to properly calibrate all three of those factors for your individual requirements.

During hearing aid fitting sessions, you might:

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

5. Not tracking your results

Once you’ve been fitted, it’s worthwhile to take notes on how your hearing aid performs and feels. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear seems tighter than the other. If everything feels great, make a note. With this information, we can personalize the settings of your hearing aid so it functions at peak effectiveness and comfort.

6. Not planning how you will utilize your hearing aid ahead of time

Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed 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 utilize.

You and your hearing aid will be together for a number of years. So if you really need certain features, you shouldn’t settle for less.

A few more things to think about

  • Maybe you want a high level of automation. Or perhaps you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of individual. Is a longer battery life important to you?
  • You might care about whether your hearing aid is able to be seen. Or, you might want to make a bold statement.
  • Talk with us about these things before your fitting so you can make sure you’re entirely satisfied.

During the fitting process we can address many of the challenges regarding lifestyle, fit, and how you use your hearing aids. In addition, many hearing aid makers will let you try out the devices before making a decision. During this test period, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether a specific brand of hearing aid would meet your needs.

7. Not properly taking care of your hearing aids

Moisture is a serious challenge for most hearing aids. If you live in a humid place, getting 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.

Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils encountered naturally on your hand can effect how well the hearing aid functions and the duration of the batteries.

The hearing aid shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate earwax and skin cells. Instead, clean it based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

The life and function of your hearing aid will be improved by taking these basic steps.

8. Failing to have a spare set of batteries

Often, 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 find out “who done it”.

Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the external environment and how you use it. So always keep a spare set of batteries nearby, even if you recently changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss something important.

9. Not practicing your hearing exercises

When you first purchase your hearing aids, there might be a presumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the heavy lifting. But the parts of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.

Once you’ve got your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and connections. For some people, this may happen quite naturally and this is particularly true if the hearing loss happened recently. But for other people, a deliberate strategy may be required to get your hearing back to normal 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. It might feel a bit foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. 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 continue practicing.

Audiobooks

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 as the audiobook plays. This does the same job as reading something out loud, you hear a word while you’re reading it. And that helps the hearing-and-language part of your brain get accustomed to hearing (and making sense of) speech again.

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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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