Becoming a new hearing aid user can seem overwhelming at first, but with motivation, patience and simple steps taken you will become easily acclimated. This article is designed to help you become and stay successful with your hearing aid(s). Firstly, dedicate a couple of hours to get familiar with your hearing aid(s). Practice taking them off and putting them back on just how we did in the office. Gently scratch or rub the top of the hearing aids (where the microphones are located) to notice the scratchy sound. This can be a simple way to know that your hearing aids are on and functioning. Now that you have a pair of your own hearing aid(s), it is important to remember that the goal is to wear them regularly and all day (aside from loud listening environments and when showering). Additionally, remember to keep your hearing aid(s) away from young children and pets.
Taking daily care of and cleaning your devices will help extend their life, as well as keeping them in their best condition. You will need a few basic tools for cleaning your hearing aid(s), which was given to you by your Audiologist. In your kit there should be a wax-removal bristle brush, a soft/ dry cloth, extra domes and extra wax traps/ guards. Other things that can be used are a toothbrush, alcohol wipes or other types of soft brushes. Be gentle with your hearing aid(s) while cleaning them and remember to never soak or get your devices wet. If you use hair products such as hairspray, put the hearing aid(s) on after your hair is completely dry.
Take the first couple of weeks to make note of anything that you’d like changed or adjusted. At your follow up appointments, your Audiologist will work with you to ensure that you are satisfied with your hearing. Remember, your brain is getting used to new sounds and sounds it hasn’t heard for quite some time. This is where patience becomes vital in your hearing aid journey. Common adjustments at follow up appointments may include: your own voice or other voices having an echo effect, feedback or a whistling sound, background noise being too loud or overpowering and/ or cell phone use issues. Be sure to talk to your Audiologist about virtual follow up visits for the future. Tele-audiology allows Audiologists to provide audiological treatment, adjustments, and programming changes through electronic communication. A smart phone is needed for virtual visits.
Parts To A Hearing Aid
Hearing aids come in different shapes and forms, but every hearing aid has 3 essential parts that need to be cleaned:
- The body/ shell
- The microphone
- The receiver
The morning is a good time for you to clean your hearing aid(s) because they haven’t been used while you’ve been sleeping. This will allow any wax on your hearing aid(s) to dry up, making it easier to remove.
- Brush over the microphone cover to remove wax and debris
- Wipe down the aids with a soft, dry cloth
Monthly: (you will have one of these products in your kit depending on the type of hearing aid(s) you have)
Wax build up is different for everyone. If you’re finding your wax traps are plugged up sooner, you can change them as needed.
A) Cerustop (black sticks)
- Take 1 “stick” out of the package
- One side should have a new wax trap on it
- One side should be empty
- Insert the empty side into the old wax filter and pull it out; now there should be no wax filter in the hearing aid
- Insert the side with the new wax trap on it and push in
- Throw the stick away
B) Cerushields (black disk)
- Rotate the cover of the disk so that there is an empty spot in the “1” and a new filter in the “2”
- Put the receiver in the “1” and press it to get rid of the old filter; you will hear a click
- Put the receiver in the “2” to insert a new filter; you will hear a click
- Rotate the cover of the disk for your next usage
Cleaning The Microphone
- Do not poke or push anything into the microphone openings located on the shell
- Gently brush across the microphone to remove any wax or debris
Cleaning The Receiver
- Do not use too much force when cleaning the receiver or when changing domes; it is delicate
Batteries (there are two different options depending on your hearing aid)
- Standard Batteries
- Batteries typically last anywhere from 5-7 days until they need to be changed. To change your batteries, make sure you gently open the battery door and dispose of the dead battery.
- First, take off the sticker on the new battery and insert it into the battery door. Make sure the flat side is facing up or the “+” sign is toward the ceiling.
- Make sure to open your battery doors at night. This will preserve battery life and allow air to flow through the device and prevent moisture buildup.
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Charge your hearing aid(s) every night while you sleep.
- When charging your hearing aids, put the devices in by their body/ shell when inserting them into the charging dock.
When taking them out of the dock be sure to grab them by the body and gently lift them up and out. Do not pull them by the wire to get them out o