Forgetting to clean your hearing aid is the most common mistake. The inside of our ear is a moist and oily environment. Hearing aids have electronic components inside them. This combination means the right cleaning method is a must! They should be cleaned after every use. If you’d like to see what tools you need and further information, click here.
Clean the sound outlet – this is the part that sits inside your ear canal where the sound comes out from. For video tips on how to clean a receiver-in-the ear device click click here. For video tips on how to clean a slim tube hearing aid click here.
Clean the microphone –this is where the sound is picked up from. If you have a piece that sits behind your ear, the microphones will be in that part. If the hearing aid sits in your ear, the microphones will be on the outer surface. For video tips on how to clean a custom (ITE/ITC/CIC) hearing aid, click here. Now if this sounds confusing, visit your audiologist and ask them to point out these parts and show you one more time what to do!
2. Irregular use
Unfortunately many people think they will help their hearing by not relying on their hearing aid so much and going without it. This is wrong. Hearing does not only involve the ear, the sound is sent via the hearing nerve to the brain. The brain then interprets what it is that we are hearing. When you have a hearing loss, the message going to the brain is compromised. If your brain is deprived of sound for too long, it starts to forget how to use it!When you wear your hearing aid, you are keeping your hearing fit by giving the brain the stronger signal that it needs. For more information on this topic, click here
3. Battery management
Firstly, remember to turn your hearing aid off by opening up the battery door. It’s also important to know that hearing aids use Zinc air batteries. Once you take off the sticker from the back of the battery it draws in air and starts to run down. So keep them in the pack until you are ready to use them. Did you know that before you put the battery in, you should let it rest a minute? It draws in air and this helps it last longer.Depending on the hearing aid model, the battery will need changing every 7-21 days. For further details, click here.
4. Forgetting to use sneaky strategies in background noise
Most hearing aids are equipped to reduce background noise using their directional microphone technology. Just remember, they will always assume the person you are speaking to in a noisy place is in front of you. They will only turn down noise from the sides or behind. To get the best out of your aid, sit in a position with a wall opposite and most of noise behind you. Also remember to choose a quieter part of the venue, eg. Stay away from the kitchen and coffee machine! It helps a lot to look at the persons face for visual cues. If you miss a word or two, try not to focus on it, you should be able to use the topic of conversation to fill in the gaps.
5. Keeping it a secret
When you have a hearing loss, you can help yourself by being open about it. Tell your friends, ‘I have a hearing loss so when you speak to me, please face me. I don’t need you to speak louder, just try to speak clearly and at a normal pace.’ You could also let them know you have a new hearing aid that you are getting used to. Your friends and family may surprise you by doing their bit to help you to hear better.