There are some very basic and simple rules for getting the full benefit from your hearing aids and for keeping your hearing aids functioning well and out of the manufacturer repair facility.
Wear them every day. Put them on in the morning, take them off before you go to bed. Almost all of the people who don’t wear their hearing aids or return them, really didn’t give them a chance to help.
Your hearing system needs time to adjust to what seems like an unnatural sound quality. While it is somewhat unnatural (there’s nothing like the original design of normal-hearing ears), it is also in more ways, normal. The hearing aids are scooping up sounds you don’t hear, and bringing them into your hearing range, not just speech, but environmental sounds too.
Paper rustling, keys rattling, dogs toenails on the floor, gravel underfoot, turn signals: these are all sounds around you that you have not been hearing, or if you have, you’ve been hearing them distorted from what the normal ear hears. It takes time to adapt to this, you need to give your perceptual system time to “rewire” for this new sound quality.
Be patient! It can take up to 2 weeks to get over the initial sound quality shift, and up to 3 months to gain full benefit for understanding speech in noise. You can’t hear exactly like a normal hearing person, especially in noise, but you should certainly hear much better than you did before the hearing aids.
If you can NOT adjust, call us and make an appointment. Maybe it’s NOT you that needs to adjust, perhaps we need to adjust the hearing aids. Don’t be shy, call us. We’d rather you told us, than everyone else, and we’d MUCH rather you wore tham rather than storing them in a drawer. Believe us, the drawer is not going to need them.
Keep them clean.
Most hearing instruments have a waxguard system with a small waxguard tip that fits into the sound outlet in the tip of the hearing instrument. It will be either a white or colored circle.
The waxguard can either be wiped with a cloth or tissue, or brushed with the small brush in your kit. That should keep the hearing aid sound outlet clear for weeks or even months.
Eventually the waxguard can become completely clogged, and need to be changed. That’s simple enough. You should have extras in your kit. The waxguard replacements generally come in a small plastic case that houses tiny sticks. On the tip of each stick is a tiny replacement waxguard, and on the other end of each stick is an empty pointed tip or threaded tip. Put the empty end of one of those sticks into the old waxguard in the hearing aid and remove it. Then flip the stick around, and insert the fresh wax guard. Very easy!
If you have a receiver-in-the canal hearing instrument, like the one on the left, you will have to remove the rubber tip before you can change the waxguard. Replace the rubber tip when you are finished.
If your hearing instrument does not have a waxguard system like that, call us, and we’ll be happy to guide you through cleaning.
We have instructional videos on our site that you can view as well.
Don’t Let Them Get Wet
Your hearing instruments are electronics, and susceptible to water damage, so keep them out of water. That means take them out before showering, bathing, or swimming. A bit of rain generally won’t hurt them, but if the rain is enough to soak you, it’s enough to soak your hearing aids. Cover them (umbrella or hat) or remove them until you are out of the rain. Keep them off of the bathroom counter and away from sinks.
Keep Them Away From Heat
Your hearing aids can be damaged by heat. Do not leave them in the vehicle in the hot summer sun, or on a heater. The general rule is: if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your hearing instruments.
Don’t Let the Dog Find Them
Dogs have been known to hunt down hearing aids and chew them up. We’ve had many hearing aids brought in, covered in bite marks, or in bits. Not only is this bad for the hearing instruments, it’s also potentially dangerous for the dog.
Open the Battery Door At Night
This will ensure that the hearing aid is truly off and not draining the battery all night, and it also gives the internal components a chance to dry out after collecting moisture all day in your ear. You can get a Dry-Aid kit to keep your hearing instruments dry if they do tend to get very moist in your ears, either due to body moisture or atmospheric moisture.
Don’t Spray them
Sprays like hairspray tend to gum up the hearing aids, depositing a film on the microphones. This can lead to a trip to a repair facility.