It’s not an easy decision to get a hearing aid, and that’s why so many people who could benefit never get one. Once you’ve decided to improve your hearing and your quality of life with a hearing aid, there are some common pitfalls you should be sure to avoid so that you continue to enjoy improved communication with your loved ones and a lot more fun in social settings.
Skipping Fitting and Adjustment
It is very important after an initial visit to get your hearing aid that you go back to your audiologist to make sure your device fits properly and that it is calibrated to address your specific needs. Part of this process is determining if your hearing aid is a good physical fit. Your audiologist checks things like comfort, how easy the hearing aid is to put on and take off, and how securely it fits in or on your ear. Your doctor will also check to make sure the microphone is in the proper position, and that you can easily reach any controls.
As part of your fitting and adjustment, your audiologist also checks to make sure that the hearing aid was programmed to fit the results of your hearing test. Your doctor can check your ability to hear sounds at different decibel levels, and ask you about things such as feedback or distortion. Only someone trained to do so can ensure that you are getting the most out of your new device.
If you detect any changes down the road that result in your hearing aid losing some of its effectiveness or becoming uncomfortable, see your doctor again. The fitting and adjustment process should be ongoing.
Not Cleaning Properly
Your hearing aid is a very delicate piece of electronic equipment, and it needs proper care in order to function properly. Heat, moisture, and ear wax can all damage hearing aids, particularly in the case of regular exposure. You should clean your ears regularly, and follow the instructions from the manufacturer regarding how to clean your specific hearing device. Talk over the cleaning process with your audiologist before trying it yourself for the first time.
Make sure that when you clean your hearing aid that you aren’t focusing on only one part and instead clean each piece that you can handle yourself. Depending on the type of hearing aid you wear, several parts may need cleaning in order to function properly both individually and overall.
Not Wearing Them
One of the biggest mistakes people new to hearing aids make is not wearing them often enough. There are several reasons you should keep your hearing aids in.
Your brain plays as big a role in proper hearing as do the ears. The brain processes the signal and sends it back so you can distinguish various sounds. In order to do this correctly, your mind needs training and consistent input. When you remove your hearing aid, your brain is not getting as many sound signals as it does when you are wearing them and thus may start to lose its ability to send back the proper signals.
Another critical reason to keep wearing your hearing aids is to get yourself used to them. It takes some time to adjust to hearing sounds you haven’t heard for a while and to get physically and emotionally comfortable with a hearing device. The more you take it in and out, the longer it will take you to adjust to your new level of hearing. Once you begin to wear your hearing aids regularly, the process seems as natural as putting in contacts or wearing a hat on a rainy day.
Your life improves when you get hearing aids, but it does take some work to maintain them and to ensure that you get the maximum benefit. Avoid simple mistakes so you can spend more time enjoying your higher quality of life.