Buying hearing aids is just the first step towards solving your hearing woes!
While choosing a hearing aid, one of the major considerations is whether it will suit your lifestyle requirements and the kind of environment you live in. Adjusting to hearing aids takes a while. The affected individual will need to follow up with the audiologist to get the hearing aids tuned according to his/her requirements.
This is also the time when a new user will have questions about using hearing aids effectively. We’ve tried to cover most of them below.
Answering FAQs For New Users Of Hearing Aids!
Let’s look at some of the most common questions new hearing aid users might have!
#1. How many years should I expect my hearing aid to last?
The average hearing aid lasts between 4 – 7 years, depending on how well you look after them. However, many users choose to upgrade or change their instruments within 4 years as technology is changing very rapidly and technology that today costs Rs.2 lacs is available at approximately Rs.70,000 within this time.
#2. How do I know if the battery is inserted the hearing aid correctly?
Hearing aid batteries have a positive and negative side, just like any other battery. Generally, there will be a red “+” sign on the battery door indicating the positive side should be up. The positive side of a hearing aid battery is flat and has a “+” sign on it.
You will also hear a jingle from your digital hearing aid a few seconds after you insert the battery. You will only hear the jingle if you have inserted the hearing aid into your ear after the battery.
#3. What do I do with the batteries when I’m done with them?
We recommend recycling them, keeping all battery waste separate from other recyclables. This can be done at most electronics stores.
#4. How do I turn my hearing aid on and off?
To turn the hearing aid on, close the battery door.
To turn the hearing aid off, open the battery door. It is not necessary, but ideal, to remove the battery completely from the hearing aid.
Rechargeable hearing aids have recently been introduced. They come with an on/off button on the instruments.
#5. Is it OK for me to sleep with my hearing aids in my ears?
When going to bed for the night, you should remove your hearing aids and open the battery door to help conserve battery life.
#6. Why do I need to open the battery door at night?
Opening the battery door at night does two important things:
- It ensures that the battery is not being drained, allowing for more economical use of your hearing aid.
- It allows air into the hearing aid, which is helpful in preventing moisture build-up.
#7. Where should I store my hearing aids when they are not in my ears?
Store the hearing aids in the provided case or another hard-shell case that closes to ensure they are properly protected and easy to locate.
#8. Can I wear my hearing aids when I take a shower, bath, or when I swim?
Even with the water resistance capabilities of modern hearing aids, we recommend you remove your hearing aids prior to any prolonged aquatic activity.
#9. How do I clean my hearing aid?
A simple cloth or tissue can be used to wipe down the hearing aids. A brush can be used to help remove more stubborn or stuck debris if necessary. Refer to the User Guide that came with your hearing aid for more details.
For more, Read Ways to Take Care of Hearing Aids.
#10. How often should I clean my hearing aids?
Cleaning your hearing aids more frequently will help keep them in the best condition possible. Cleaning them once every morning before you put them on is generally a good practice. Read Ways to Take Care of Hearing Aids for more details.
#11. What does the button on my hearing aid do?
If there is a button on the hearing aid, it can be used in any of these ways:
- To change volume
- To select between different listening programs or environments.
- Could be disabled by your Hearing Care Professional
#12. My hearing aid is beeping, what does that mean?
The beeps can mean a variety of things. Beeps can indicate that a battery is getting low, that the hearing aid program is changing (when you push the program button) or there are changes to the volume. If you are unsure of what the different beeps mean, check with your hearing care provider for more information on specific beeps, or refer to the User Guide that came with your hearing aid.
#13. My hearing aid whistles sometimes when I am putting it in my ear. Is this normal?
It is possible to hear a whistle when putting a hearing aid in your ear. It should not, however, whistle when it is in place in your ear. If it does, make an appointment with an audiologist to have your hearing aid checked – it indicates that there is sound pressure escaping from the ear.
#14. My hearing aid is ‘dead’, is there anything I can do?
There are a couple of things to check before making an appointment with your hearing care provider.
- Try a new battery.
- Make sure the hearing aid isn’t clogged with debris or wax, preventing sound from coming through.
- If you look at the end of the hearing aid and it is clogged with wax, gently remove it from the opening (if using an earmold with a BTE style) or replace the wax filter (if using a RITE or custom style)
- Make sure that if you have a volume control on your hearing aid that the volume is turned up.
- If none of these things solves the issue, make an appointment to have your hearing aid checked.
#15. How do I tell the right hearing aid from the left hearing aid?
Your hearing aids will be marked red and blue. Red will always be in the right ear. The blue will be for the left ear.
#16. My BTE or RITE hearing aid has a volume control; which way do I turn it to change the volume?
If you have a rotary wheel, roll it towards the top of your head to increase the volume. If you roll the wheel toward your shoulders, this will turn the volume down.
If you have buttons on your hearing aid, the top button will turn up the volume and the bottom button will decrease the volume.
#17. Will wearing my BTE or RITE hearing aid interfere with my glasses?
No, it should not. Many people wear both hearing aids and glasses. Make sure that when you remove your glasses that you use both hands, one on each bow by your temple, and pull them straight. Avoid pulling your glasses roughly off to one side – this may cause the hearing aid on the opposite side to become dislodged. Even celebrities with hearing losses like Jodie Foster can be seen wearing hearing aids and glasses together.
#18. Is there anything I need to know about the clear hollow tube that connects my hearing aid to the ear mold?
Over time, the tubing that connects the earmold to the hearing aid will need to be changed. When the tubing becomes rigid or discoloured, visit your hearing care provider for a tube change.
#19. What is the white thing at the end of the hearing aid that goes into my ear?
That is the wax filter. It is there to prevent wax from getting into the delicate components of your hearing aid. When this becomes clogged with wax or other debris, you will need to change this to ensure your hearing aid stays in good working order.
#20. How often does the wax filter need to be changed?
It varies depending on how much wax your ear produces. Estimates range from once per week, to once every few months. Inspect the wax filter frequently, and change when wax or other debris becomes noticeable.
#21. What is the hole next to the wax filter on my hearing aid?
That is the vent. The vent allows for some sounds to enter your ear naturally as well as provide ventilation for your ear canal. Natural ventilation is important because it prevents the ‘plugged up’ or occluded sensation you would get if your ear was completely closed off with the hearing aid.
#22. How do I clean the vent?
Use a thin wire or the cleaning brush that comes with your hearing aid to clear the vent. If using a thin wire, insert it into one end, and push it through until it comes out the other end. Be sure to wipe off any debris with a cloth or tissue before removing the wire from the vent.
#23. Are the microphone covers easily replaceable?
Yes, the can be easily replaced by either the hearing aid wearer or the hearing care provider. Replacement caps can be ordered from your hearing aid provider.
#24. What is the clear ‘antennae’ thing on my hearing aid?
Some hearing aids have a retrieval cord to assist you with the removal of your hearing aids. When the hearing aid is in your ear, grasp the line firmly and pull to remove your hearing aid.
#25. My custom hearing aid has a volume control; which way do I turn it to change the volume?
Rotate the volume control wheel forward/towards your face (when worn) to increase volume; rotate the wheel backwards/away from your face to decrease volume.
#26. Why is my hearing aid squealing?
The squealing that you or those around you hear is called feedback. Feedback may occur because something has changed with the way the hearing aid fits in your ear. This can be because your hearing aids need to be cleaned, your ears have accumulated debris in the canal, or your ears have grown (your ears continue to grow as you age).
If you are experiencing feedback, try cleaning your hearing aids and your ears themselves. If that does not stop the feedback, consult your hearing care provider.
This is definitely not a comprehensive list – the questions would differ based on the type of hearing aids being used, as well the unique hearing needs of every individual. If you have any further queries then get in touch with us. At Centre For Hearing, we provide the most comprehensive diagnostic facilities and the latest technology in hearing aids.