Hearing Aid Care In Wet Environments
The majority of hearing aids are not totally waterproof, so its important that you are conscious of your hearing aids in wet environments. We understand that practicing hearing care might not always seem simple. Thats why weve compiled this guide to help walk you through how to protect your hearing aid when there is wetness involved.
Maybe you jumped right into the swimming pool, or maybe you took a shower without removing your hearing aids first . Dont fret- weve got you covered.
It Might Be Time To See An Audiologist Again
If you begin wearing your aids again and the sound isnt comfortable, you may need to tolerate a period of adjustment. If that doesn’t work, seeing an audiologist is a good idea, since hearing can change over time for anyone. An audiologist can reprogram the hearing aids if needed, and help motivate you to use your hearing aids full-time.
How Many Hours A Day Should You Wear Hearing Aids
Ill confess once I began working at home years ago, Ive rarely worn my aids from the minute I got out of bed until the minute I fell asleep. So I asked Dr. Palmer: Is there a minimum number of hours of usage that would keep our brains primed?
Although there isnt data to answer that question, she told me, audiologists see that people who wear their aids all through their waking hours do better. The brain isnt good at trying to listen in two waysthrough the hearing loss and through the amplification system. The ear is a doorway to the brain, it doesnt make sense to have it partially closed part of the day, she explained.
My own observation is that part-time use has a big cost. I have a friend with profound hearing loss, much worse than mine. When neither of us wears our hearing aids, the difference is dramatic. But weve both noticed with surprise that when we are in a noisy restaurant wearing our hearing aids, he can hear better than I can. I thought the aids were the problem. However, now I have a different theoryhed been wearing his aids whenever he was awake and was getting the full benefit of them. His brain was adapted to a fuller range of sound.
The ear is a doorway to the brain, it doesnt make sense to have it partially closed part of the day.”
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How To Properly Clean And Care For Your Hearing Aids
With any investment, there is a certain degree of maintenance required to be sure that money is being well spent and the purchase is well kept. A hearing aid is no different. Certain maintenance items should be used only by the manufacturer or your hearing care professional, but there are many other preventative measures that you can complete regularly to ensure that your hearing aid is at full-functioning capacity!
Below we examine three main causes or hearing aid problems and offer cleaning and care tips to help!
Battling Ear Wax
Ear wax is often described as the hearing aids worst enemy, and rightfully so as the most common cause for hearing aid repairs across the industry. While ear wax is a healthy, normal occurrence in the ear canal, it can create a number of problems for a hearing aid. The ear canal contains not only the solid or soft components of ear wax but also vapor that can migrate deep into the hearing aid where it can become solid and settle on critical mechanical components.
For example, at Starkey Hearing Technologies, an estimated 60 percent of repairs are caused by wax or foreign material getting into the internal components of the hearing device.
What you can do:
While accidental immersion in a bath or swimming pool can happen, preventative measures can help guard from moisture buildup within the device during normal usage.
Avoiding Physical Damage
Q: Are My Hearing Aids Really Kaput If They Get Wet
A: If you only knew how often we get this important question. As powerful as they are, hearing aids like all electronics have a couple of Achilles heels, and one of them is water. The moisture could come from a swimming pool, a shower, or even the sweat from working out or soaking up a hot summer day, but it all comes down to this: Wetness can permanently put your hearing aids out of commission.
Of course theres always the potential miracle who hasnt heard the occasional story of a friend or loved one accidentally putting their hearing technology, personal music player, smartphone, or other treasured device through the washing machine only to have it continue working without seemingly skipping a beat? Thats some rare luck, however, so its important to stick to prevention.
Here are six ways to help keep wetness away from your hearing aids:
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Behind The Head Straps
This option seems to be the most straightforward and is most widely suggested by hearing aid wearers. Behind-the-head masks reduce strain on your ears and keep your mask tight across your face. The downsides are that youll have to bring your mask with you vs. using ones freely available in some public locations. Many people take time to sew these masks at home, but Ive also found several highly-rated and affordable hearing aid friendly options for sale online. Some of my favorites below:
Hearing Aid Friendly Masks That Tie Behind The Head
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Choosing The Perfect Hearing Aids Which Fit Your Needs
Whether you wear glasses or not, there are certain things to take into consideration before you invest in hearing aids. These devices come in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
They also come in fancy colors, if you are into that type of thing.
Hearing aids are categorized into three basic groups In-the-ear , Behind-the-ear , and In-the-canal .
ITEs, as the name implies, they fit right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
BTEs are an older style of hearing aids. However, there are newer and modern version available. As the name implies, they are mounted behind the ear while the connecting tube sits in the ear canal.
ITCs are just like the ITE models, but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
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Choosing The Hearing Aids Which Best Fit Your Needs
Even if you dont wear glasses, theres a lot to consider when picking out new hearing aids. Shape, style, and size are all personalizations that are available. You can even get them in stylish colors if youre into that type of thing. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
Start the process by really understanding what kinds of hearing aids are out there. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
- Behind-the-ear This is an older style of hearing aid, but todays version of this technology is way more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device mounts directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-canal This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them virtually invisible.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many drawbacks. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose a style.
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How To Get Water Out Of Your Ears
Good hearing is something that many of us take for granted. However, there are some common, everyday situations that, if left unchecked, could impact our hearing health. One of those is getting water in the ear. It happens easily enough in many situations but, thankfully, there are five easy solutions:
- Gently tug at your earlobe while tilting your head down towards your shoulder
- Lie on your side for a few minutes
- Yawn and/or chew: both tend to open up the eustachian tubes
- Warm air from a hair dryer on its lowest setting and held around one foot from the ear
- Try over-the-counter medications but do always read the label and consult your doctor if you have any doubts
*These tips have been approved by hear.coms lead audiologist, Dr. Hope Lanter, Au.D.
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Uncorrected Hearing Loss Subjects Your Brain To ‘auditory Deprivation’
Most people with hearing loss dont hear sounds of certain frequencies, usually high ones. If you dont hear those soundsbecause your hearing loss isnt correctedyour brain adapts.
Imagine a baby who doesn’t have the ability to hear. If hearing and speech and language are the parents goal, we need to get stimulation to the auditory nerve quickly because neural synapses are developing, explains Catherine Palmer, president of the American Academy of Audiology, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and director of audiology for its health system. This is an issue for adults as well. We dont want the auditory system deprived of sound because over time that can change auditory processing abilities, she said. Your brain may forget how to hear certain words and sounds, in other words. This is known as auditory deprivation.
Help My Hearing Aids Got Wet
Time to Read: 4 minutes
Hearing aids are a remarkable piece of technology. In fact theyre mini computers in your ears. And as we know, water and electronics do not mix!
Dos and Donts when your hearing aids get wet
- Dont panic
- Do act quickly
- Dont leave your batteries in.
- Do rinse your hearing aids in clean water if they were dropped in soapy or salty water
- Dont use heat.
- Do use a desiccant or your hearing aids dehumidifier/dryer unit to try your aids
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Keep Your Glasses Clean
This might seem like an obvious point, and youd be right, but it is amazing to see how many spectacle wearers dont know how to properly clean their all important lenses. The cardinal sin committed by most offenders is to clean a pair of glasses by simply breathing on them, and wiping them on a piece of clothing. If you ever want to make an optician squirm, this is how to do it.
The real reason this is such a problem is that when you wipe a lens on a piece of clothing you run the risk of adding micro scratches to the glass, which stack up over time and reduce the optical clarity of the lens, but also provide a rough surface for moisture to grab onto making fogging more likely.
To avoid this make sure that you clean your glasses regularly and clean them properly. This means investing in some high quality cleaning solution and microfibre cloths. The two combined will ensure that your lenses retain their crisp smooth surface, and will help to prevent moisture from latching onto them and causing fog.
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Behind The Ear Hearing Aids
Some people feel that combining Behind The Ear hearing aids with glasses would cause problems. In the last few years, Behind The Ear hearing aids have become smaller and they have become a favourite choice for the vast majority. Moreover, Behind The Ear hearing aids are suitable for all ages, all degrees of hearing impairment and due to their larger sized batteries they can be more powerful.
Wearing glasses with Behind The Ear hearing aids is not problematic if you are cautious when putting them on. You can either put your glasses on first or the hearing aid. If you put the hearing aid on first then make sure that when you put your glasses on the hearing aid isnt dislodged. Putting the glasses on first may mean that you need to sort out long hair over the hearing aid and glasses. You can use a mirror to adjust them if necessary. When taking off your spectacles, it is better to pull them forward rather than to the side. This way you wont dislodge the hearing aid.
For a BTE device why not try the HD 210:
This is one of our smallest behind the ear devices with barely visible micro-tubing. The HD 210 digital hearing aid is designed for ease of use and wearer comfort.
The top of the range Signia Motion 13 1Nx Hearing Aid is still very affordable.
Its a slimline, really small, yet comfortable behind-the-ear hearing aid. It has a range of hi-tech features to give you the best listening experience possible including smartphone control.
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Regular Waterproofing Technology For Regular Users
Modern hearing aid technology advanced in leaps and bounds in the past decade. Robotic manufacturers enable tighter tolerances and more accurate assembly. However, you still need to avoid showering with hearing aids on, although walking in a drizzle without an umbrella should be okay.
Your most important take-away from this post is likely to be the importance of drying your hearing aids right away if they get soaked. Thats because moisture may take a while to get past their defenses, and if you act quickly, you could be okay. The key is being careful, and keeping your hearing aids safe and dry at all times.
How Can You Protect Your Hearing Aids From Heat Humidity And Water
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How To Clean Ite Hearing Aids
When cleaning an ITE model, follow these steps:
Take Out The Battery And Leave The Compartment Open
It is vital to remove the battery from the device, even if you think that only the outside of the hearing aid became wet. Its rare to find a hearing aid with a completely sealed battery compartment and therefore no matter how careful you are it is highly likely that water will have penetrated inside.
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What To Do If Your Non
As part of your daily maintenance tasks with your hearing aids, you should check that the devices are dry and remove the batteries before storing them. If you know they were exposed to sweat or rain, it is a good idea to take out the batteries and allow every part of the hearing aid to air out. If you do expose them to a lot of water, however, by accidentally jumping into a pool or the shower with them still on, all may not be lost. Take the batteries out immediately and throw them away. Then try one of the following to save your device:
- Leave the hearing aids on dry newspaper and let them air-dry for at least 24 hours before replacing batteries and trying them out. Placing them near a table lamp may speed the drying process. Do not place them too close to a hot light bulb, however, as that could further damage them.
- Place the aids in a sealed bag with a cup of uncooked white rice and leave overnight. Rice can work as a dehumidifier and draw moisture out of the devices.
- Use a fan or hairdryer on a cool setting to dry the hearing aids.