If you experience hearing loss, your hearing aids are probably the most important devices you possess. They have the power to help you hear better, maintain social interactions and generally interact with your surroundings more effectively. But while an audiologist can diagnose your hearing loss and find the right hearing aids, only you can keep them in good health.
You will rely on your hearing aids for several hours at a time and must subsequently implement good daily practices to ensure that the devices keep performing at the desired level. Focus on the following factors and you won’t go far wrong.
Know Your Hearing Aid Styles
While all hearing aids essentially provide the same purpose, there are differences between one device and the next. Crucially, different hearing aid styles will have contrasting parts, which is why knowing your behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids is vital:
- BTE: Will have the hearing aid housing, buttons, earmolds, microphone, sound processor, battery compartment and tubing.
- ITE: Will have the housing, amplifier, battery compartment, button, microphone, and speaker.
- ITC: Will have the housing, speaker, microphone, vent, battery compartment and removal thread.
Taking the time to know your hearing aids will make all future steps a lot easier to master. So, don’t be afraid to ask your audiologist to explain your devices in detail.
Keep Them Safe When Not Used
Over 28-million Americans wear hearing aids and the majority will find that they need to acclimatize by only wearing them for a few hours at a time. Even when you begin to wear them from the moment you wake to bedtime, it’s vital that you keep your hearing aids stored safely when not in use. This means keeping the battery door open.
For starters, you must keep them in their case overnight with the batteries removed. However, there are several additional moments where storage is required:
- When showering or swimming
- If you remove them for certain sporting activities
- When taking a nap
Aside from protecting your hearing aids, this step will protect your ears as wearing the devices while you sleep can cause pain.
Keep Them Clean
Hearing aids will naturally accumulate dirt, debris and earwax. Therefore, it’s important to clean them at least once per day. Many users find that they will need to clean their devices two to three times daily. Regular cleaning will help the devices last longer without reduced performance.
If your audiologist has provided a hearing aids cleaning kit, it will include a dry cloth, wax pick and multi-tool. To thoroughly clean your devices, you should:
- Choose a suitable spot to clean them – not wet or too hot.
- With clean hands, use a cloth to wipe away any debris.
- Use the pick or multi-tool to clean delicate parts like the microphone.
When your devices are kept clean, they will perform better. Moreover, the lack of wax and debris on the speaker may help prevent symptoms of tinnitus.
Take Care of the Batteries
When hearing aids stop performing as expected, the problems are often linked to the batteries. Coming symptoms include a loss of power, inconsistent performance, reduced volume and feedback.
- Disposable batteries should be replaced every 80-300 hours depending on the type of battery and the hearing aid device.
- Rechargeable batteries should be docked and recharged overnight. You can do this daily or every 48-72 hours.
- Always wait two minutes after pulling the tab before placing the new battery inside your hearing aid device.
Fixing the battery-related issues is probably the easiest aspect of suitable device care. But if you don’t take care of them, your hearing aids will be greatly reduced.
Conduct Daily Checks
One in eight people has hearing loss in both ears. So, you will need to keep both hearing aids in great health. The best way to do this is to stay on top of the situation with regular checks. Responding quickly to a minor issue before it escalates is advised. You should:
- Check the tubing to test that it isn’t split or broken.
- Test that the earmold isn’t split.
- Check that filters aren’t discolored.
When problems do surface, be sure to start with simple troubleshooting like checking the battery door is closed and volume hasn’t been turned down.
Don’t Forget Professional Support
Even when you implement the right daily care and regular maintenance like changing the batteries, you may find that a little professional care is needed from time to time. An audiologist can recalibrate the devices and determine if parts like BTE tubing needs replacing.
To book an audiologist appointment to test the condition and calibration of your hearing aids, call Norriton Hearing Center at (610) 273-6077 today.