(and How to Properly Care For Them)
Humorous but true. These are five of the most bizarre and yet amusing situations hear.com hearing experts have witnessed when it comes to hearing aids, their users, and the issues they encounter.
Listener, beware: this could very well happen to you. As funny as some of these experiences are, there are ways to care for your hearing aids that should be taken seriously.
Let’s get started.
1 “The dog ate my hearing aid”
Those who are not accustomed to hearing aids or simply don’t want to wear them might come up with this ridiculous excuse for why they simply can’t use their hearing aids today — or ever again.
Treat this with a grain of salt and a raised eyebrow of skepticism in the way your teacher might have when you were younger. Getting used to the idea of using a hearing aid is a very personal adaptation. It could also be that the individual finds the earmolds uncomfortable and simply doesn’t want to wear them.
2 “I lost it in the garden”
While the earmolds should fit the ears themselves, modern hearing aid devices are so small, they can easily become lost.
It’s not uncommon for them to, in fact, be mistaken as small seeds and, mistakenly, be planted in the soil rather than firmly in the individual’s ears.
3 “I lost it while taking out my glasses”
For those who are experiencing age-related hearing loss, there may be an onset of other amusing issues. Namely, absent-mindedness.
At the end of the night, when older adults are taking off their glasses, they may accidentally knock out their earmolds that hold the hearing aid device secure in the ear and end up misplacing their aids altogether.
4 “I forgot to take it out before getting in the shower”
With a warm, steamy shower awaiting you and a tune stuck firmly in your head, you can be forgiven for forgetting to take out your hearing aids in an attempt to mimic Pavarotti.
While you’re belting out your best music contest voice in the shower, however, your hearing aids are essentially mechanical devices that don’t do so well with water. If this its first contact, it can be salvaged by using a forced air blower and a drying container to hold.
5 “The grand-kids found them and played with them”
Sure your older grand-kids may be way too riveted with video games to notice much else. And, thanks to your hearing aids, you get the pleasure of listening to cars blowing up and things exploding on screen with perfect clarity.
But what about your grand-kids? The term “small parts not suitable for children” here applies. Make sure to keep your hearing aids — both the earmold and the device — out of reach of young children, especially if they’re drying on a counter with the batteries removed.
Kids could grab them and hide them away for fun — or, end up swallowing smaller parts.
The Daily Care
On a more serious note, hearing aids, like any supplemental device, require care and attention, especially if used daily and throughout the day. Any electrical device that is used in conjunction with the body, furthermore, is prone to wear and tear over time.
To prolong the life and function of the device, consider this daily care routine.
Having the right tools: before bringing home the hearing aids, make sure to come fully equipped. To help your hearing aid, ask your audiologist for a listening tube, as well as a battery tester and forced air blower. You’ll also want to request a container to keep them dry in.
Listen in to what’s going on: here’s where the listening tube comes in handy. Use this tube to perform a listening check every day. You want to make sure the incoming sound is clear, not diluted or scratchy.
Clean up time: the best way to clean small hearing aids is with a soft, dry cloth. Especially as we age, our ears are more prone to dirt and grime, as well as build-up and residue that sits within the aid, accumulating over time. If you’d like, you can use a non-scented soap solution with the earmold part of the hearing aid. Don’t use a hair dryer. Instead, use your forced air blower to dry them and the container to hold them in.
Play it cool: while it’s okay to use mild soap and water to clean out the earmold, your hearing aid will function the best when it’s exposed to minimal moisture, especially with prolonged use. This means, avoid heading into the pool for long periods of time or submerging your head. You’ll also want to clean it off as soon as possible if you do. When drying, remember to remove the batteries out of the device first.
Cut the feedback loop: hearing aids that are securely inserted should not be delivering any feedback. This is a small but noticeable whistling sound that might occur if the earmold is too small or if it simply needs to be replaced. Another reason for feedback could be earwax lodged in the canal itself so try and clean out your ears first.