Aug 2020 Big Easy Magazine
Hearing aids are essential medical devices that are now just as widely used as glasses. They are very valuable and help individuals with hearing loss to hear better, which can improve the quality of life in many ways. Additionally, they are very expensive and need specific care to ensure that the user gets the most out of them. Generally speaking, on average, hearing aids can last anywhere from three to seven years depending on the type, usage, and maintenance. As a result of all of these factors, you will want to ensure that your hearing aids last as long as possible. Here are some ways to do just that.
Get Them Serviced When Necessary:
Your hearing specialist can give you a hearing test and then check up on the condition of your hearing aids. They perform service tests and ask you a series of questions to ensure that your devices are functioning at optimal performance.
Clean Them Regularly:
Over time and with regular usage, your hearing aids can become dirty due to the natural buildup of earwax. While earwax is important for protecting your ears, it can also adversely affect the function of your hearing aid. If there is too much clogging of it, the hearing aid’s components, particularly the receiver or microphone, can be impaired so that you won’t get the most out of the device.
Because your ears may react as though your hearing aids are foreign objects, they may produce more earwax than normal. When this happens, it’s especially important to regularly clean your hearing devices. Use the tiny wire brush that comes with its case as directed to you by your hearing care specialist. Wipe down the domes using the brush and use a clean cloth to wipe down the body of your hearing aid before you put them away for the night before bed. If you no longer have the cleaning brush that came with your devices, you can even use an old toothbrush.
Preserve Their Batteries:
If your hearing aids are the type that uses batteries that have to be changed every few days, you want to do your part to preserve those batteries. Many hearing specialists report that their patients new to having hearing aids initially complained about the batteries dying within two or three days. It’s important to open the battery compartment on your hearing aids whenever you take them out. Whether you are turning in for bed for the night or if you are simply taking a shower, when you remove your hearing aids, always open their battery compartments. Doing so will ensure that you get the maximum life out of the batteries. Most often, hearing aid batteries last for around five days.
Keep Them Dry:
Although some hearing aids are water-resistant, that doesn’t mean they are waterproof. In general, you want to avoid using your hearing aids in water. Even those that are water-resistant can still suffer damage to their inner components, which can prevent them from working at optimal performance. If too much liquid gets into certain parts of a hearing aid, it can damage it and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs or a replacement. Skip wearing your hearing aids in the shower, pool, or hot tub, remove them and place them in their case or a safe, dry spot.
Change Replaceable Parts:
Hearing specialists often show users how to change the replaceable parts of hearing aids when it’s needed. Over time, the filters, which fit onto the earpiece, have too much wax buildup, which can cause the hearing aids to sound muffled or not work at all. These need replacing every few months and can be done using a small tool provided to you by your specialist. You can also replace the domes, the basket-like pieces that go into your ears when they are dirty.
Some types of hearing aids also have a component called the damper, which enables better sound frequency and prevents earwax from getting into the device. On occasion, the damper may become too clogged from a buildup of earwax and need replacing. Your hearing specialist should have provided you with a few replacement dampers. These components are not usually included with behind-the-ear hearing aids but are part of those that sit directly in the ear. Once the damper is replaced, you should be better able to hear again.
These tips will help you to lengthen the life of your hearing aids so you can enjoy better hearing without having to spend more money.