As author Stephen R. Covey knows, the key to success lies within you; all you have to do is find it, stick a spigot in it and turn on the tap. As with Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, the seven highly effective habits of hearing aid users are simple and straightforward. In many cases, hearing loss is a permanent condition, and so it’s something you have to learn to live with. With a few tweaks to your daily routine and an adjustment on your mental perspective, you too can be a highly successful person, hearing loss and all.
1) Wear the hearing aids
If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to improve your condition with hearing aids, wear them! They won’t do you any good sitting in your nightstand. Even though you might be self-conscious about the way they look, your hearing loss is infinitely more noticeable when you don’t wear them.
2) Communicate effectively
When you miss part of a person’s speech, don’t give up on the conversation. Instead, look for ways around it. Where your ears fail, your eyes and brain can often fill in. Use visual clues like facial expression, body language and lip reading to help fill in the gaps your ears can’t. Look at the speaker when he or she is talking, and pay attention to all the little details.
3) Own it
When you have hearing loss, it’s extremely important to be proactive on your own behalf. When you’re in a new place or trying a new activity, let the people around you know that you have hearing loss. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your experience. Most of the time people won’t know you have hearing loss, unless they can see your hearing aid right away. Once they are aware, they can offer you the option of additional services like closed captioning, Teletype phones or hotel room visual alert kits, and make the extra effort to communicate with you in person as well.
4) Work to resolve issues with your hearing aids
Hearing aids don’t completely restore your hearing, but they should do a pretty good job of improving your hearing capability. If you’re noticing any problems or if you suspect something is out of whack, ask your hearing health practitioner to check them out. If your hearing aids aren’t working properly, then you’re wasting a whole lot of money.
5) Open the hearing aid battery door at night
An easy thing to do, right? Such a simple action can significantly impact the life of your hearing aid. Moisture builds up in your ear and your hearing aid throughout the day, and opening the battery component door at night allows the internal mechanisms to dry out.
6) Carry extra batteries
Batteries can die at any time, and you should know from experience that it always happens at the most inconvenient moment. Head that problem off by keeping an extra set of batteries in your purse or your car. Having a spare can determine whether you have a great night or a really difficult one.
7) Store your hearing aids properly
When you’re not wearing your hearing aids, you should store them in a cool, dry place like your nightstand. If you live somewhere humid, make sure to store them in a drying container. Whatever you do, don’t leave them in the bathroom overnight where they could be subjected to shower steam and splashes of water from the sink.
Employing these seven steps in your daily routine will make you a highly effective person with hearing loss. While your hearing loss may present a few obstacles, most of those obstacles have simple solutions. You just have to know what they are.