You’ve got a set of new hearing aids. Congratulations, it’s a great start to improving the quality of your life. There is a lot to learn when you buy new technology like modern hearing aids, and that includes the things you shouldn’t do. It’s not a long list with hearing aids, but it is an important one.
It’s not just about caring for your hearing aids, either. The things you fail to do can make the devices less useful or slow down your adjustment time. Now learn from the mistakes others in your shoes have made; consider these four things you shouldn’t do with those new hearing aids.
1. Straight Out of the Box Into Your Ear
That’s without taking the time to learn the basics of how your hearing aids work and exploring the features that come with the brand you bought. Chances are if you just turn on your new hearing aids and start wearing them, they won’t work efficiently for you. You might also miss out on the best features like Bluetooth or noise filters.
On the other hand, if you slow it down a bit and read the documentation that came with the device, you can figure out how to get the cleanest sound quality and practice various adjustments that improve the hearing aid’s function.
You should have a basic idea of what the hearing aids can do when you buy them. Now, spend some time learning how to use them.
2. Underestimate the Adjustment Factor
Every time you get a new pair of glasses, your eyes need time to adjust to the difference in the lenses or the shape of the frame. The same is true for hearing aids. Some new hearing aid owners think they will automatically enjoy this magical new sound quality. It doesn’t work that way.
Your ears will need a couple days to adjust to what is a massive change, especially if you’ve never worn hearing aids before. Consistency is the key to adjusting quickly to new hearing aids.
Put them in and leave them in place. At first you might have to fight the urge to take them out every few minutes. If you are uncomfortable, ask yourself why.
Is the sound too loud? Maybe you need to turn the volume down.
Does the background noise seem overwhelming? Go to a quiet place for a few minutes when you first put them in each day. Sit with a friend and talk. Ask if you are talking too loud. This will help you make adjustments to balance out the sound.
If it is uncomfortable, take the aid out for short intervals until you get used to it. If the hearing aids just don’t seem to fit right, go back to the retailer and have them check.
The biggest mistake you can make is to give up. Your hearing aids will do you no good shoved in a drawer and forgotten.
3. Fail to Get a Proper Fitting Upfront
There is a lot involved in getting the right hearing aids, and it starts before you even start looking. When you are at the audiologist, if you are not honest about what you can and can’t hear during the test, that’s a problem. You may end up with hearing aids that aren’t right for your level of hearing loss or type. For example, some hearing aids by design pick up a high-frequency sound. If your hearing loss interferes with your ability to hear mid-range or low tones, the aids won’t work right for you.
In some cases, hearing aids may not seem to fit your lifestyle. Maybe you spend two-thirds of your day on the phone, but your hearing aids don’t have Bluetooth. That’s inconvenient, but can be addressed by replacing them with hearing aids that do.
While you are still in the trial period for your new hearing aids, write down the times where you wished the hearing aids did something different or when it felt like they didn’t work right. You can go back to the hearing care technician and talk about those problems. It might just take an adjustment, or maybe you need a different type of device.
Make sure to buy your hearing aids from a retailer that does fittings, too. They won’t work if they are too big for your ear.
4. Sloppy Maintenance
Sometimes poor maintenance is merely a matter of not knowing what you should or shouldn’t do something or how to do it. Take the time to learn how to care for your hearing aids even if this isn’t your first rodeo.
When you get the hearing aids, look closely at the warning signs listed in the documentation like using hair products with your hearing aids in place or failing to turn them off when you take it out.
Also, read the troubleshooting instructions and the maintenance guide.
Cleaning is a big part of caring for hearing aids, so make sure you understand all the hows and whys. Don’t stop at just cleaning the device, either. See what the manufacturer recommends for cleaning your ears, too.
It’s up to you to ensure you get the most from your new hearing aids. The process begins as you are shopping for them and continues when you start wearing them.