Want To Know What Your Hearing Aid Would Say If It Could Talk?
In the United States, 25% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have disabling hearing loss, and the number increases with age. Half of people aged 75 and older have hearing loss that is disabling, but only 1 in 3 people with hearing loss who are at least 70 years old use hearing aids. If you have a hearing aid or are considering getting one, you'll need to take proper care of the device so it will last. As with nearly everything, improper care can make the hearing aid break down or wear out faster, especially since you'll likely be wearing your hearing aid during all of your waking hours. You may be surprised at what your hearing aid would tell you if it could talk. Here's what it would say.
"Stop taking me into the bathroom when you bathe, please."
Moisture and humidity can corrode and damage the small metal parts of hearing aids. Droplets of water can block the microphone and speaker, making it nearly impossible to hear anything but static. While it's obvious to not wear your hearing aid when you bathe, it's a good idea to remove the hearing aid before you enter the bathroom and keep it in a safe place in another room. Even if the ventilation system is working full-blast, the humidity in the bathroom from the steam of the hot water can damage your hearing aid.
"Hey, I need a good cleaning to get rid of these tiny creatures growing on me."
Your body has good and bad bacterial and fungal flora, including in your ears. The good flora helps to take care of the bad flora naturally. When you insert your hearing aid into your ear, the device can pick up some of the flora. Conversely, bacteria and fungus on your hearing aid can be transferred into your ear when you insert it. You can be at risk of ear infections if there is more bad flora than good, or if debris and/or other microorganisms enter your ear canal. Therefore, it's important to clean your hearing aid properly with antimicrobial products to reduce the risk of developing an ear infection.
"Running… out… of… energy… need… new… battery…."
At first, you may not have any idea of how often you'll need to change the battery for your hearing aid. It's a good idea to carry a replacement battery with you, such as in your wallet, so you will be able to replace the battery when necessary. To get the most power out of the battery, be sure to wait one minute after you pull the tab off of the battery before you insert it into your hearing aid. Also, you can extend the life of your battery if you remove it from the hearing aid every night before you go to bed.
"I'm getting old and ready to retire. It's time to find a replacement."
Due to the small size and fragile parts, as well as the wear and tear that comes part and parcel to constant usage, hearing aids don't last forever. There will come a time when your hearing aid will need to be replaced. Fortunately, your hearing specialist can help you determine when to replace the device by giving you a series of hearing tests to determine the efficacy of your hearing aid.
Consider what a hearing aid goes through on a daily basis, and it may give you a bit more understanding of how to properly take care of it. Keep moisture and humidity away from the hearing aid and clean it properly to avoid bacteria growth.