Hearing Aid Care Advice and Trouble Shooting Tips

Hearing Aid Care Advice

Hearing aids are modern marvels of technology. Despite their diminutive size, they contain big technology and sophisticated parts. Hearing aids perform millions of calculations each second they are turned on. Good daily maintenance and hearing aid hygiene go along way in preventing many of the common problems associated with hearing aid ownership. When it comes to proper hearing aid care, An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Clean Your Hearing Aids DailyHearing Aid Care and Cleaning

Many hearing aid repairs are due to to earwax contamination. The body creates earwax to clean our ear canals. Unfortunately, as the earwax migrates down the ear canal it makes contact with your hearing aids where the sound comes out of the hearing aid is called the sound outlet tube, earmold, or receiver, depending on the style of hearing aid you have. Most modern hearing aids will have a wax filter protecting where the sound comes out. Clean the wax filter with a brush (an old tooth brush is what I use) every morning before you put them in your ears. The reason I recommend cleaning them in the morning is that at the end of the day your ear wax is fresh, soft and sticky, but in the morning it has dried and brushes off easily.

Keep Your Ears Clean

In addition to keeping the hearing aids clean, it is also important for you to keep your ears clean. Earwax secretion is a natural and necessary function of healthy ears, but it can cause trouble if it gets into the sound outlet of your hearing aids. Use a washcloth to clean your ears on a daily basis.

If you think that your ear canals may have a build up of earwax, there are over the counter products you can use such as DeBrox or any other carbamide peroxide product. Follow the directions on the package for best results. If that doesn’t take care of it, I recommend that you see your physician for earwax removal.

It is strongly recommended that you do not insert cotton swabs or any other small or sharp object into your ears. Cotton swabs may push the earwax further down the canal and sticking anything small or sharp into your ears can puncture and cause permanent damage to your eardrum.

Hearing Aids Like To Be DryHearing Aid Dri-Aid Jar for hearing aid care.

Electronics of any kind generally don’t like moisture. Prolonged exposure to or excessive moisture/perspiration is a leading cause of hearing aid repairs. For proper hearing aid care, when not wearing your hearing aids, open the battery door and allow your aids to dry out.

An inexpensive product to help keep hearing aids dry is a dehumidifier. There are several different types of styles of hearing aid dehumidifiers. See the HearSource Accessories Page for a selection of these helpful products.

Use care when applying hairspray or other hair products. Hairspray applied while wearing hearing aids will clog the microphone ports leading to device failure. Don’t wear hearing aids while bathing, showering, swimming, etc.

Hearing Aid Trouble Shooting Tips

If you are having issues with the performance of your hearing aids, try these simple steps before sending your hearing aids in for repair:

  • Make sure the hearing aid is turned on: This seems simple, but check anyway.
  • Check the volume: Make sure the volume control is at the correct setting and wasn’t accidentally turned down.
  • Check the battery: Put a fresh battery in your hearing aid. Even if you think you just put a fresh battery in, try in once more. Make sure that the batteries are not out of date.  Most battery packages have an expiration date on them. Don’t leave hearing aid batteries in your car or in direct sun.
  • Check your wax filter: Usually a little white or colored area where the sound comes out of the hearing aid and into your ear. Brush it with a brush. If you have a supply of wax filters, change it.  Replacement wax filters can be purchased from the HearSource Accessories Page.
  • BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids: If you wear BTE hearing aids, the tubing can sometimes become clogged with earwax or over time can shrink and become hard. Any hearing care professional can quickly and inexpensively clean or replace BTE tubing.

If That Doesn’t Do It

Despite your best efforts, you may need your hearing aid repaired at some point. In the hearing aid world, that is just the way it is. Here is when to send your hearing aids into HearSource for repair:

  • You’ve attempted all the troubleshooting tips listed above and your hearing aids still aren’t working.
  • Your hearing aid has been physically damaged, such as case or shell is cracked or has a hole in it.
  • One of your controls isn’t functioning (volume control wheel, such button, etc.)
  • Static, buzzing, or just plain won’t work.

If you need to have your hearing aids professionally repaired, please contact HearSource for affordable hearing aid repairs.

 

Hearing Loss Sufferers Are At Increased Risk For Accidents

A new study on hearing loss suggests that hearing loss sufferers are at increased risk for accidents.

Recently, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a nationwide survey which indicated that out of 232.2 million American adults, approximately 15.7 percent reported suffering from hearing loss and that of those, 2.8 percent had been injured in an accident within the previous three months.

JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery Report

Additionally, JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, tracked injuries related to driving, work, and leisure/sports. In all three categories, the risk of injury increased with the severaty of hearing loss. Over all, compared to those who rated their hearing as “excellent”, those with a little hearing loss were 60% more likely to have been injured, those with moderate hearing loss were 70% more likely, and those with a lot of  hearing trouble were 90% more likely to suffer a physical injury.

My recommendation, fix your hearing loss, the benefits more than outweigh the cost.

 

Program Your Own Hearing Aids

Would you buy a television if the salesperson insisted that they would be the only one that could change the channel, adjust the volume, tone or brightness? Would you be submit yourself to hour long appointments traveling back and forth to the T.V. store for the smallest adjustment? Then why do we surrender control in this way for our hearing aid sound adjustments?

With modern personal electronics, smartphones, automobile media centers, etc. we can reconfigure the sound beyond the default manufacturer settings to our heart’s content, yet as hearing aid wearers we have little control over them.

I would like explain to you the reasons why hearing aid wearers should program your own hearing aids.

First, I program my own hearing aids, so I speak from experience. Trust me, I am far happier with my own choices about my hearing aid sound settings than I ever could be if someone else did them for me.

Basically, hearing aid programming consists of two basic groupings:

1. Sound Settings: These settings affect how you hear – such as gain and frequency, including loud sound compression.

2. Operational Settings: These settings don’t necessarily affect the sound, but the physical operation of the hearing aid itself.

Here are a few reasons you might want to program your own hearing aids:

Financial. By avoiding multiple visits to the hearing care professional’s office, you save time and money.

Timeliness. Why tolerate bad sound while you wait for an appointment at the hearing aid office, making the desired sound changes is quick and easy.

Control. Answering the hearing care professional’s favorite question, “How does that sound?” is like trying to explain what an orange tastes like. You know exactly what you’re hearing; the hearing professional can only guess.

Curiosity. Wouldn’t it be nice to experiment a little with the sound settings to see how the sound could be adjusted and optimized just for you? Wouldn’t it be nice to explore the hearing aid software with or without the hearing aids being connected. Wearers who have explored the hearing aid fitting software will be better at taking advantage of all the features that the hearing aid and the hearing aid fitting software have to offer. If your hearing aid has “data logging”, you can see specifically how much time you spend wearing your heading aids in different sound environments, at what volume and using which program.

Real world. Sounds in a hearing care professional’s office don’t necessarily represent MY world. I can program my hearing aids based on my real world experiences, where my dog barks, my wife and grandchildren talk and scream, not that quiet little sales/testing/programming room at the hearing aid sales office.

If you have ever desired to take control of your hearing correction, are reasonably computer literate, experimental, and patient, learning to program your own hearing aids is for you.

Here is a link to an article that the BBC wrote of people adjusting their own hearing aids. Article Link Here.

Here is a link to HearSource’s Personal Programmable Hearing Aids

Memory, Dementia and Hearing Loss

I am seeing new brain-training products on the market attempting to keep our brains sharp. May I suggest “better hearing”. There is mounting evidence that links memory, dementia, and hearing loss—especially untreated hearing loss.

Research indicates that when people with untreated hearing loss strain to hear, they have more difficulty remembering what they heard. Researchers believe this has to do with what is called “cognitive load”. In order to compensate, people with untreated hearing loss draw on mental resources that they would have normally used to remember what was just said.

Hearing loss and dementia
A study from Johns Hopkins Hospital found that older adults with untreated hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing. Hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. Some experts believe that hearing aids use may potentially help.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/hearing_loss_and_dementia_linked_in_study

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