Hearing aids are indispensable for millions of Americans. Thanks to these modern devices, people lead fulfilling and happy lives, forgetting about their hearing problems.
Like any sophisticated technical device, a hearing aid requires an appropriate attitude and quality service. After all, your communication capabilities with the world depend on it.
Despite all efforts, there can always be some sort of an issue, which can lead to a breakdown of the device. Therefore, let’s look at the most common situations and how to prevent them?
Preventing common mishaps
There is a wide variety of types and styles of hearing aids on the market today. Anyone will find the most convenient and effective model, according to the degree of hearing loss, life preferences, hobbies, etc.
Most hearing aid devices are small and comfortable and it is easy to forget that certain maintenance is required. Since the device sits in the ear and gets used so often, it is vital to keep up with proper cleaning so as to avoid breakdowns which can lead to being without a device and additional financial expenses.
It is important for each hearing aid user to know how to maintain ther device so as to not have it breakdown at vital moments, such as restaurant settings, family celebrations and when traveling.
I forgot my hearing aid at home
Surprisingly this is not an uncommon situation. How often have you left your house without your wallet? Hearing aids become such a common part of our lives being that they are so small and comfortable, it does happen that when running out to do errands one may forget to put them on. Obviously, this is an issue, as communication will be difficult without them.
Avoiding this mishap. If you can, go back home and put on your device. If not, seek the help of a relative or close friend. Tell them about your problem and ask them to bring the forgotten device.
Excellent prevention of the situation would be to have a checklist of all must haves before leaving home and making your hearing devices one of those “must haves”. Try to do this every time you leave home. Very soon, the process will become a habit for you, and you will not forget your devices at home.
Loss of hearing aid outdoors
Cold seasons, different sports equipment, or fashion trends can cause loss of the hearing aid. It doesn’t matter what you wear on your head – a hat, helmet, or headband – all of these can hook your device.
Avoiding this mishap. You should immediately stop as you feel the absence of a hearing aid. Retrace your steps and check your clothing. The device may have caught on them. If you find it, be sure to properly clean it or bring it to your audiologist for servicing. Many of the current hearing aids have the option of “Find My Hearing Aid” with the use of APPS and Smartphones. This is a great feature for such a situation. In addition, if this is a common problem, there are various ways that hearing aid devices can be secured to the glasses or clothes.
The hearing aid is wet
Our leading audiologist, Dr. Zhanneta Shapiro notes that this occurs quite often. The person forgets to remove the hearing aid before showering or swimming in the pool. As a result, the device breaks down.
Avoiding this mishap. Try to remove the device as soon as possible and dry it with a dry towel. After that, open the compartment with batteries and remove all batteries (if applicable). Your main task is to dry the device as quickly and efficiently as possible. For this purpose, you can use special dehumidifiers.
Hearing Aid Dehumidifier does not need chargers, batteries, and electricity. You can simply leave the device at night to dry and use it again in the morning. You do not have to spend a lot of money. The service life is quite long and ranges from six months to two years.
How to avoid getting your device wet in the shower or on the beach? Have a special case to store your hearing aids before every trip to the pool, beach, or shower. Having a post-it to remind you to take your device out is also a great option for new hearing aid users.
The pet has grabbed the hearing aid
It is not uncommon for pets to chew on hearing aids if they are within their reach. They think it is a toy or food. Unfortunately, this is not a great thing to happen to your hearing aid or your pet.
Avoiding this mishap. Try to remove the hearing aid from your pet’s jaw as soon as possible. Check its integrity. If the device is not damaged, then simply clean it properly or have it checked at your audiology office. But if you see that there are no batteries, then call your veterinarian. The best preventive measure is to store your hearing aid correctly so that no one, not even a pet, has access to it.
The hearing aid has stopped working
Any hearing aid, even with proper maintenance, can stop working. Most often, this happens due to wax getting stuck in the receiver part of the device or a microphone gets clogged due to outside debris. As a hearing aid user, you may notice that the device is weak or not providing the amplification that you are used to.
Other mishaps that can occur with devices include:
Fast discharge of power supplies
Lack of additional functions, for example, Bluetooth connection
Of course, a poorly functioning hearing aid should be brought to the attention of your audiologists. Most devices have warranty that was included with the device and can be repaired. There are also many troubleshooting things your audiologist ca ndo in the office so as to not have to send the devices away.
How do I extend the life of my hearing aid?
Some simple tips can extend the life of your hearing aid device.
Follow the advice of your audiologist and hearing aid manufacturer
Change batteries on time when applicable or charge your device every night.
Use special hearing aid dehumidifiers every day, especially during the summer. After all, moisture is the most destructive factor for an electronic device
Store devices in a protective case, out of the reach of children or pets
Bring your device for maintenance to the audiology office every 3-6 months (this is determined with your audiologists based on your specific needs)
Following these helpful tips will significantly extend the life of your irreplaceable helpers.
Remember, a hearing aid is a complex technical device that can break down if not properly maintained. Taking good care of your devices and knowing what to do if something does happen, will keep you hearing better all day!
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]