How long will it take to get used to my new hearing aids?
This can be different for each person. For someone who has had hearing loss for a long time, and has not used hearing aids before, it may take a little while to get used to them, and the brain needs to adjust to hearing sounds again, that have been missed for some time. On top of this, your ears will need to get used to having something in them, whether that is a custom mould, a dome or a custom hearing aid, part of the aid needs to go into the ear. This should not be uncomfortable, but you may notice the sensation of something in your ear. If someone has used hearing aids previously, they won’t take long at all to adjust to new ones. For some people, the adjustment process to wearing hearing aids can be quite quick!
Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?
While hearing aids are extremely helpful devices unfortunately a hearing aid is just that, an aid. This means it cannot restore your hearing back to the way it once was. However hearing aids can still help you to hear the sounds you are missing, and improve quality of life.
How long should I leave my hearing aids in for each day?
This is dependent on the person. As mentioned previously it can take some time to get used to hearing aids, and so wearing them for a few hours a day to begin with, and building it up from there is a good start. In order to fully adjust it is important to get yourself into a routine of putting the aids in and wearing them for as long as possible throughout the day. The best thing to do is put them in first thing in the morning (or after the shower) and take them out before going to bed at night.
Should I wear one hearing aid or two?
If you have hearing loss in both ears, two hearing aids will always be better than one. With two ears hearing you are able to localise sounds better, and listening when there is other noise going on will be a bit easier. The sound will also be more balanced with two hearing aids, and you will be able to hear speech more easily. However, this can depend on your hearing and hearing loss so it is best to discuss whether one or two aids would suit you with your audiologist.
How do I clean my hearing aid/s?
This can depend on the style of hearing aid;
With all aids, wipe the part that goes into your ear every night when you take them out using a tissue or soft cloth, to remove any dirt or excess wax on the outside. Once per week, give the part that goes into your ear an extra clean with some cleaning spray or wipes. Spray the liquid onto a soft cloth or tissue, not directly onto the device. You can also use a little brush/cleaning tool to brush away excess wax. Use a drying tablet and container once per week to ensure that aid/s do not get a build-up of moisture which can damage them. (Cleaning products and tools are provided by your audiologist).
Behind the ear (BTE): can have a “slim” hollow tube which goes from the part that sits behind your ear, into your ear, and ends with a dome or mould. This tube can be removed (pulled or unscrewed) from the main hearing aid. Sometimes this tube can get wax stuck inside it. If this happens, remove the tube and remove the dome from the end and push a small wire through the hollow tube to push the wax out.
BTE’s may also have a thicker tube which goes to a custom mould. Sometimes this tube can also be blocked with wax and needs to be cleaned. This can be done by removing the tube from the hearing device, and using a blue puffer to push the wax out. The mould itself can also be cleaned using a special cleaning tablet in water. But it is very important that you have removed the hearing device from the mould/tube prior to submerging the mould into the solution!
Receiver in Canal (RIC): These devices have a wire (receiver) which goes from the hearing aid into your ear. This wire can only be removed by the audiologist. However, at the end of the wire, under the dome (or mould), there is a wax filter. These can be changed if they are blocked with wax and your audiologist will show you how and provide you with spares. How often these need to be changed is dependent on the person as everybody makes a different amount of wax. Some people need to change them weekly, others monthly and others even less so! Wax filters can also be found on custom hearing aids (aids that do not have a part that goes behind your ear).
Why are my hearing aid/s not working properly?
There could be many reasons for this! Firstly ensure that the battery is not flat, try changing the battery, or place the hearing aid on the charger if you have rechargeable hearing aids. If this doesn’t work give the hearing aid a clean and ensure there is no wax blocking any tubes, also try changing the wax filter if you have one. Sometimes the tubing on the hearing aid needs to be changed as it may have kinked or split. This can be done by your audiologist, or yourself if you know how. Lastly, if you have tried all of the above, and the aid is still not working, contact your audiologist for help. The audiologist may be able to fix the problem on the spot, or the hearing aid may need to be sent back to the manufacturer to explore the issue further.
What happens if I get my hearing aid/s wet?
Hearing aids do have some level of dirt and moisture protection. However, if a hearing aid gets too much moisture built up inside it, it can become damage and no longer function properly, if at all. Therefore you should never wear your hearing aids in the shower, or even keep them in the bathroom, as the moisture can build up in the hearing aid over time. If you accidentally forget to take them out, and get in the shower, don’t stress. Remove the hearing aids as soon as possible and place them in the drying container with the silicone tablet (or electronic drying machine if you have one of these). Worst case put them in some uncooked rice as this may help to dry some of the moisture out. Leave them to dry for a few hours (the longer the better). If they then do not work, or do not sound right, book an appointment with your audiologist.
Why is my hearing aid whistling?
These days, hearing aids should not whistle/feedback if they are fitted correctly. Feedback is caused by sounds going into the ear, escaping the ear and going back through the hearing aid. Hearing aids these days have very good feedback management systems to avoid this happening. If the hearing aid does whistle, check to make sure it is in your ear correctly, ensuring it is as far into your ear as possible. Also check to make sure there is no wax blocking the hearing aid, wither in the wax filter, or the tubes. If you have too much wax in your ears this can also sometimes cause the hearing aid to whistle, and you may need to have the wax removed. If you cannot work out what the issue is, speak to your audiologist directly.
How do I change a hearing aid battery?
To change the hearing aid battery, first you need to remove the battery from the packet, and peel the sticker off the battery. Once you have peeled the sticker off, if you can let the battery sit on the bench for at least 1 minute before putting it in the hearing aid, this will make the battery last a bit longer. Once you have done this you can then place the battery into the hearing aid. Open the hearing aids battery door, this will normally be at the bottom of the part of the hearing aid that sits behind your ear, or on the faceplate of a custom hearing aid. The battery has a negative and a positive side, the positive side being flat with a + on it. This is the side that should face up when you place the battery in the hearing aid, although some hearing aids are slightly different and the battery may go in on its side. You can also use a special magnetic tool to help you to pick up, place in, or remove the battery from the hearing aid. If you do not have this tool you should ask your audiologist.
Some hearing aids are rechargeable and there are a few different types of rechargeable batteries. Some of these hearing aids do need their batteries changed every 12months – 2 years while others will last for 6 years. This depends on the battery type. But with rechargeable batteries all you need to do is place them in the charger whenever you are not wearing them.
How long do hearing aid batteries last?
There are 4 different types or sizes of hearing aid batteries. Your hearing aids will use one of these types. You should get at least 1 week to 2 weeks out of your hearing aid battery. However, this does depend on a few things. The longer you wear the hearing aid in a day, the more the battery gets used, on top of this, if you have hearing aids that are connected to your phone or any device via Bluetooth, this will also drain the battery somewhat.
How do I tell which hearing aid goes into which ear?
When it comes to hearing aids, there will always be a red marking or writing on the right aid, and blue on the left. It may be inside the battery door, on the part of the aid that goes behind your ear, or even on the tubing.
How long do hearing aids last?
If you take care of your hearing aids and clean them regularly they can last up to 6 years!
Will I become dependent on my hearing aid?
This depends on each person’s situation. People with significant hearing loss may become dependent on their hearing aid/s as without them they cannot hear any speech or environmental sounds. People with more mild losses might not be as dependant. The hearing aid is there to help, and if you require a hearing aid to hear, then it is ok to depend on it. If something happens to your hearing aid, and it needs to be sent away to be repaired or replaced, talk to your audiologist about a loan device to get you by in the meantime.
Will the hearing aid make my hearing worse over time?
No. Hearing devices fitted correctly will not make your hearing worse. In fact with hearing, it is very much a “use it or lose it” situation. We need to keep our hearing nerves active and working so that they will continue to function. By using hearing aids, we are helping to stimulate tiny hair cells in our ears that might not have been active otherwise, and this will help to keep our ears and hearing healthy. So wearing hearing aids can actually help our hearing!
Can my hearing aids connect to my phone?
Hearing aids can connect to mobile phones. Some newer technology hearing aids have the ability to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to your smartphone, allowing you to stream calls and music/sounds from the phone to your hearing aid. Your phone can also work as a remote control via the hearing aids phone app. Speak to your audiologist about which hearing aids will work with your phone.
If you have older hearing aids, you might still be able to connect to your phone with the help of extra streaming devices.