According to the Mayo Clinic, the adjustment to using hearing aids on a daily basis is highly personal and can, for many users, be difficult at first. It may take some time before you notice a difference in your hearing ability.
Part of the adjustment is becoming familiar with best practices in terms of looking after your hearing aid properly, to ensure that it works effectively at all times. A few of tips include:
1. Develop a battery replacement schedule
To avoid the frustration of having a hearing aid battery fail unexpectedly, it is important to recognize when your hearing aid battery is beginning to lose life – this begins when the battery drops below 1.1 volts. Once you are able to recognize when your battery is starting to lose power, you can be better prepared by having extra batteries on hand. You can also use this knowledge to develop a schedule – make a note of when the battery usually dies and you’ll soon notice a pattern of how long the battery lasts. With this information you can then build a schedule of when you’ll need to make the replacement. Most users become so accustomed to the cycle that they no longer need to use their schedules after a certain point.
2. Routinely check your hearing aid
It is possible to tell whether your hearing aid has any problems by utilizing a listening tube, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association explains. The tube will help you to notice issues such as internal feedback or scratchiness. Working hearing aids should sound completely clear and still. To learn more about this process be sure to reach out to your doctor, audiologist or hearing aid manufacturer. It is a good idea that for individuals to complete the hearing aid check process once a day.
3. Keep hearing aids dry at all times
As explained by Arizona State University, the majority of hearing aids are not water-resistant. Consequently, even small amounts of water can have a damaging effect. It is important to ensure that your hearing aids remain dry at all times. This can include refraining from wearing your hearing aid while participating in water-based activities such as swimming, taking it off at the gym due to increased perspiration, protecting it from the rain using an umbrella and so on. You will also want to protect your devices from humidity. It helps to store your hearing aids, while not in use, at room temperature in a container that is firmly sealed. This tip is especially important if you live or are vacationing in a humid climate. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association noted that special containers designed specifically for drying hearing aids are available.
4. Clean your device frequently
As with virtually anything, your hearing aid is susceptible to the build up of dirt. Try to take time to clean your device(s) as often as possible. There are ways to keep your hearing aid clean without getting it wet, such as using specially designed solutions and dry towels for daily wipe-downs. Other special cleaning tools are available, and your doctor can help show you some effective cleaning techniques. The Better Hearing Institute elaborates that you should have your ears routinely checked for excessive wax build-up. If wax is detected it can be easily cleaned away by your healthcare team.
5. Go for checkups
It is important to take your hearing aid to a specialist every couple or months or so, to ensure that the device is in working order. This service is often provided, free of charge, as part of your contract after procuring the device. Such agreements also usually allow for hearing aid cleaning.