Sometimes hearing loss can creep up slowly. You might notice that you need to turn the volume up more and more on the TV. Or you may find yourself repeatedly asking “What?” when people are talking to you. Regardless of when you notice hearing loss, it can affect your personal life as well as your safety.
About 28.8 million Americans could benefit from hearing aids, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Hearing aids work by making sounds louder so they are audible and clear. Once again, you will be able to enjoy conversations, TV and movies, and notice safety alerts such as a fire alarm.
At Memorial Village ENT in Houston, Texas, Dr. Conrad McCutcheon and licensed audiologist Marty Lippeatt, MS, FAAA, have years of experience addressing hearing loss. Our team offers a variety of services designed to help correct your hearing, including fitting you for assistive listening devices, more commonly called hearing aids.
Use this guide to help you discover common mistakes new hearing aid owners often encounter so you can avoid them as you embark on your hearing rehabilitation.
1. Missing out on new technology and digital features
Today’s hearing aid technology allows for the programming of capabilities that were unheard of just years ago. Adaptive hearing programs address a notoriously difficult situation for those with hearing aids: noisy environments.
Many new hearing aids offer Bluetooth capability, which enables you to pair them with your smartphone. Your hearing aid manual explains all of the features of your devices, including where your volume controls are located as well as how to change or recharge the batteries.
One of the biggest mistakes new hearing aid users make is skipping over the user’s manual. Be sure to review your manual to ensure you’re aware of all of the features and capabilities of your new hearing aids as well as how to use them.
2. Neglecting the adjustment period
If your hearing has been declining over the years, you might be shocked when you first put in your new hearing aids — the world is loud! You may find that processing all of this new auditory information leaves you exhausted at the end of the day. This is common and normal. In fact, it’s called hearing-related fatigue.
Some new hearing aid users stop using their hearing aids in an attempt to eliminate the hearing-related fatigue. It’s better to take a quiet break — for example, leaving a noisy area to read in your room — than give up on your hearing aids all together.
Other tips to manage your adjustment period:
- Wear your hearing aids just for a few hours at first
- Don’t adjust the volume too much
- Keep your TV volume set at a normal level
You can also practice talking with one friend or family member and then slowly build up to talking to groups.
3. Not asking for needed adjustments
All hearing aids work on the same basic principles, using a microphone, an amplifier, and a receiver. Based on your hearing test results, our audiologist will adjust and program your hearing aids to fit your needs.
Some people don’t want to feel like a bother asking for adjustments, but the reality is that adjustments are normal. You might need a little more treble or bass — whatever makes the sounds most pleasing to you.
At Memorial Village ENT, your hearing aids come with four months of free programming and adjustments, so don’t hesitate to speak up and get the adjustments you need.
4. Forgetting about maintenance
To maximize the life of your hearing aids, you need to keep up with maintenance. This includes:
- Storing your hearing aids in a cool, dry place
- Turning them off when not in use
- Not applying hairspray or other products while wearing hearing aids
- Keeping them dry
- Changing wax guards
Good maintenance for your hearing aids also includes good hygiene for your ears. Keeping your ears clean helps keep your hearing aids clean. Don’t insert cotton swabs into your ears. If you have excessive wax, consider professional ear wax removal.
5. Not wearing both hearing aids
Although there are some cases where an individual may only need one hearing aid, most people benefit from wearing hearing aids in both ears. Not wearing both can keep you from getting the most out of your devices.
Patience is key
You might be surprised to encounter challenges as you enter into the world of assistive listening. Remember to go easy on yourself. With a little patience, you can learn to embrace your newly enhanced hearing and explore the world of sounds around you.
If you’re struggling with hearing loss, contact us today to schedule an appointment. You can call our office at 281-822-3777, or simply request an appointment online.