Congratulations on your new hearing aid. You have just become the proud owner of a great piece of modern technology, but just like all new devices, there are things that hearing aid wearers wish someone had told them.
It would have saved them a lot of uncomfortable experiences.
Let’s look at 5 common mistakes new hearing aid wearers make and how you can avoid them.
1. Not Learning How Hearing Aids Work
More specifically know how your own hearing aid works. It likely has special features that drastically enhance the hearing experience in different settings like a restaurant, theater or walking down the street.
It may be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, stereo or an auditorium’s sound system. It may have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you don’t learn about these features, it’s so easy to get stuck into a rut, using your technologically-advanced hearing aid in a rudimentary way. Hearing aids these days can do more than make sound louder.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different settings. Ask a friend to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
Like anything new, after a little practice, it will get easier. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than it is when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Thinking that Hearing Will Instantly Improve
In line with number one, many new hearing aid owners think hearing will be perfect as they walk out of the audiologist’s office. This never happens. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are fully comfortable in their hearing aid. But don’t get discouraged. They also say it’s very worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple days to get used to the new experience. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You may need to wear it in short intervals.
Start in a quiet setting with a friend. Talk to each other. Your voices may sound loud, hollow or different at first. This can be disorienting. Ask about your own voice volume and make adjustments.
Slowly start to visit new places and wear the hearing aid for longer periods of time.
Many people buy a hearing aid. Then they don’t use it. They don’t get past this critical learning stage. Be patient with yourself and you’ll have many great hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Not Getting a Hearing Aid Properly Fitted
The fitting includes several stages.
Hearing Test Results
Be honest with yourself about what you can hear on these tests. Guessing the answer to a question correctly will negatively impact the analysis.
If you have your hearing aid and realize that maybe you weren’t as honest as you could have been, go back to your hearing care specialist and discuss adjustments. Getting it right the first time is easier. The level and type of hearing loss will determine the hearing aid styles that work best for you.
For example, certain hearing aids are better for people who have hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Others are better for people with mid-frequency hearing loss.
Some hearing aids are water-resistant. Water can seriously damage others. Some have advanced features you may be willing to pay more for because you enjoy certain activities.
You might ask the opinion of a trusted friend or your doctor. But the decision must be yours. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use. Don’t get more hearing aid than you need. But do get a hearing aid that will meet your needs.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. You don’t want to regret settling when you really would have benefited from a certain feature.
Share with your doctor to get the best hearing aid fitting.
You may really care about whether people can see your hearing aid. Or you may want to make a bold statement.
You may prefer something that is very automated. Or maybe you like having more control over the volume. Is a longer battery life important to you?
To be very satisfied, discuss these preferences during the fitting.
4. Not Properly Caring for Your Hearing Aid
Most hearing aids are very sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, it may be worth the money to get a dehumidifier. Storing your hearing aid in the bathroom where people take baths or showers is a bad idea.
Always wash your hands before touching the hearing aid or batteries. Oils found naturally on your hand can impact how well the hearing aid works and the life of the batteries.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells build up on the hearing aid. Clean it according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Taking simple steps like these will improve the life and function of your hearing aid.
5. Not Having Spare Batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this lesson at the worst times. You’re at your granddaughter’s piano recital. Your batteries die without warning. You’re traveling to work on a rainy day, and the hearing aid stops working.
Like many electronic devices, battery life varies depending on how you use it and the outside environment. Always keep an extra set of batteries nearby, even if you just replaced them. Don’t miss out on something special because of an unpredictable battery.
Have you made mistakes with hearing aids in the past? Get it right this time and find out how to hear at your best.