Hearing Aid Maintenance: How To Change Your Filters
Keeping your new hearing aids in tip-top shape is the best way to ensure that you are getting the most quality sounds delivered to your ears. The difference between a well-maintained hearing aid and one that isnt can be the difference between you hearing sounds the way youre supposed to or possibly not hearing at all.
As a doctor of audiology, it is my passion to ensure that your equipment is working precisely the way you need it when you need it to. Your hearing aids are made up of three simple, yet tiny parts: a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Keeping all three of these components in good condition is key to making sure they are working optimally for a long time.
How Often Should I Change My Hearing Aid Domes
A dome is the small piece that sits in the ear canal. These can be easily removed and replaced, which we recommend doing at least once per month. However, this can vary based on things like your wear pattern and the natural rate of earwax production. Your Doctor of Audiology can give you the best idea of what to expect.
How To Change Wax Guards On Hearing Aids
Today, there are a growing number of hearing aid styles. Even so, most of these devices are similar in nature. However, you should always utilize the same type of wax filter the manufacturer originally supplied. If you are in doubt, simply contact an expert at North Shore Hearing P.C. for assistance locating the right wax guard and to learn how to change wax guards on hearing aids.
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How Often Should Ichange My Wax Traps
It is difficult for an audiologist to advise a patient howoften to change their wax traps. This is because each patient is different.Some people need to change the wax traps almost every month. Other people maynot need to change their wax traps for several months. It all depends on theamount of wax in the ear canal. Some patients get a lot of earwax while othersdo not. On average, people need to change their wax traps every 2-4 weeks.
How Do You Clean Hearing Aid Wax Guards
In order to change a wax guard on a hearing aid, you should follow these steps: 1. Remove any dome before starting. 2. Remove a wax guard from the package. 3. Insert the side without a white tip into the wax guard on your hearing aid. You should feel it click into place. Do not twist or rock the wax guard and do not too push hard. 4. Pull the wax guard out by lifting the stick straight out. 5. Repeat this process with the other side of the wax guard that has the white tip on it.
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Cleaning Caring & Drying Of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are small, electronic devices that operate in conditions that are both warm and damp . Conditions that most electronics don’t like. After making a large investment in being able to hear better, it makes a lot of sense for you to keep them in the best shape possible by cleaning and maintaining them at home.
The hearing aid manufacturers take great efforts to ensure your hearing aid will keep on keeping on. However, if you don’t do your part, those hearing aids will fail. In many cases, a failure may well end up needing to be sent away for repair. This could leave you without your hearing aid for up to two weeks depending on how busy the repair centres are. This is a major hassle, in my experience people who have become used to better hearing with their hearing aids hate to be without them. It really upsets them, so the key is to maintain your hearing aids as much as possible to avoid any hassle.
How Do You Plan On Financing Your Replacement/upgrade
If you are receiving funding from the government , there may be limitations on how often you can replace your hearing aids. For example, Medicaid regulations in Florida dictate that hearing aids are limited to one per ear every three years, while Idahos dictate one hearing aid in a lifetime.
Private insurance companies are less likely to help with the cost of hearing aids, but if youre lucky enough to live in New Hampshire or Rhode Island, you may be entitled to regular hearing aid upgrades through your insurer. In Arkansas, insurers are required to offer coverage to employers in the state.
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Are Your Current Hearing Aids Functioning Well
To perform well, hearing aids require regular maintenance and occasional technical repair. Hearing aids are worn on the body, and they go wherever you go. They arent like your cellphone, sitting securely in your pocket or in your purse. They are exposed to the elements, just like anything else on your body, and may be exposed to rain, excessive humidity, extreme temperatures, dust, dirt, etc. Remember, at least part of every hearing aid sits inside the ear canal. Seeing that most ear canals contain a mixture of moisture and earwax, its clear that hearing aids arent residing in the most hospitable of environments.
Depending on the type of hearing aid you wear, your lifestyle, and your ear canals , your hearing aids may require a lot of maintenance, or none at all. I have had some patients wear their hearing aids for 5 years without requiring any significant repairs, and others who are in and out of the clinic every few months with moisture related issues.
Earwax in a hearing aid speaker. Photo Courtesy Jodivac.
Tips For Dealing With Hearing Aid Feedback
Modern hearing aids feature sophisticated technology and can deliver high quality, crystal clear sound. However, even high-end hearing aids may occasionally have feedback. Heres why this happens and what you can do to mitigate the problem.
What is hearing aid feedback? Hearing aid feedback refers to a whistling noise that is produced when a sound loop occurs in a hearing device. A sound loop happens when sound travelling from the microphone to the receiver finds its way back to the microphone, where its amplified further with every loop. The resulting sound intensifies with every cycle until it turns into a high-pitched whistle or squeal.
How do I stop my hearing aid from whistling? Occasional hearing aid feedback is normal. It can occur when your aid shifts position, for example when you bend over, hug someone or insert your device. Typically, you can stop the whistling simply by taking out and re-inserting your hearing aid. The next most common cause of feedback is a buildup of wax. In such cases, thoroughly cleaning your hearing aids should resolve the issue.
Ongoing hearing aid feedback is another matter. It may be caused by loose or poorly fitting hearing aids or broken tubing issues that need to be resolved by your audiologist or hearing aid practitioner.
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Can I Afford New Hearing Aids Right Now
Asmentioned previously , hearing aids can be quite expensive. If you arepaying out of pocket for part or all of the expense of hearing aids, then youare sure to see the dent it makes in your bank account.
For thisreason, if you are personally financing your hearing aid replacement, then youmust determine if you can afford it at this time or if it would be a smarterchoice to wait and save up for newer technology.
Some typesof insurances cover all or part of the cost of hearing aids. If you receivefunding from insurance , there may belimitations on how often you can replace your hearing aids. For example, someinsurance companies state that they will cover 100% of the cost of hearingaids every three years. Other companies may cover the hearing aids once perlifetime. The amount covered is different for each person, so you will need tocontact your insurance company personally to determine if you have any benefitsfor hearing aids.
If you area US Veteran receiving hearing aids from the US Department of Veteran Affairs, they typically replace hearing aids every4-5 years.
How Can I Make My Hearing Aid Batteries Last Longer
If you want to make your hearing aid batteries last longer, follow the following tips: 1. After removing the battery tab, let the battery breathe for 3-5 minutes. 2. Open the battery door on your hearing aids when not in use. 3. If you are not going to use your hearing aids for an extended period of time, you should remove the batteries. Not only does this help with making your battery last longer, but it is also good for preventing corrosion and damage to the hearing aid due to moisture. 4. Check the expiration date on your batteries and use the oldest ones first. 5. Keep the sticker on the battery until ready to use. 6. Store your batteries in a cool, dry place.
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S For Changing Your Used Hearing Aid Wax Guards
Are you still wondering how to change hearing aid wax guard? With the help of a changing tool, do the following to remove and discard the used wax guards.
Dangers Of Unclean Wax Guards
Sooner or later, you have to change your wax guards. Keep in mind that unclean wax guards are unsafe. Sometimes the hearing aid wax guard is stuck in the ear.
They lead to hazardous to health infections, like otitis media, inner ear infection, acute mastoiditis, vestibular neuronitis, serous otitis media, infectious myringitis, etc.
How often should you change wax guards? Well, at least once a month. Otherwise, keep the wax guard clean for hearing properly through your hearing aid.
Too much air blowing, rattling noises, or hissing in your ear even after wearing hearing aids are pointers that your wax guards need to be changed.
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Do I Need To Replace My Hearing Aid Wax Guards
Like anything, hearing aid wax guards suffer from wear and tear over time. They may start to become less effective the more they are used and might not fit as well as they are supposed to. In most cases, you need to replace it once a month or if your hearing aid doesnt sound as loud or is distorted. Some people produce more earwax than others and thus might need to replace their wax guard more regularly. Wearing a hearing aid can also increase the amount of earwax you make. If you believe that you are producing too much earwax, talk to your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist about whether an earwax removal or cleaning would be an appropriate precaution to take.
Are My Current Hearing Aids Still Addressing My Listening Needs
The firstquestion to ask yourself when wondering if its time for new hearing aids is:Are my current hearing aids still getting the job done? Think about thedifferent listening environments you are in on a day-to-day basis. Do you feelyourself struggling in these environments? How well do your hearing aids helpyou?
Somecommon listening situations are listed below. Think about these listeningenvironments, as well as other listening environments you experience regularly.As you read through the list, think about how important those situations are toyou and rate your satisfaction in each listening situation when wearing yourhearing aids. If you find that there are several situations that your hearingaids are not performing like you think they used to, it could be time toconsider new hearing aids.
- Listeningto music
- Placeof worship
Yourhearing is likely to gradually diminish over time, even if you wear hearingaids. Some people whose hearing has diminished after a few years may realize that they need more advanced technology.
Additionally, if the insertion of the hearing aid into the ear is difficult due to dexterity issues, it might be time to consider a different style of hearing aid . Maybe you are having difficulty getting the small dome of a receiver-in-the-canal hearing aid into your ear. Then it might be time for a custom earmold.
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Change The Filter In Widex Hearing Aids
Widex hearing aids are some of the more popular hearing aids, so our hearing specialists wanted to specifically address how to change the wax filters on Widex hearing aids. There are two basic styles of Widex hearing aids, so depending on which style yours is most like is the tutorial you should follow to swap your filter out.
Also, if you are replacing your wax filters at home, be sure to buy Widex wax guards, which come with the replacement filter and the tool you need to remove and replace the old filter.
Why Do I Need To Protect My Hearing Aid From Wax
We all produce earwax naturally and they play a very important role in protecting the interior of the ear and trapping dirt, dust and debris. However, they arent quite as helpful towards our hearing aids. For one, whenever wax and other particles get trapped in the sound outlet or microphone opening, they can create blockages and, as a result, your hearing aid may be distorted or muffled. If wax, dust, or moisture infiltrates the hearing aid, it can do even more damage, which can reduce its overall lifespan and cause it to malfunction. Your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist can help you make repairs and even offer replacement parts for the hearing aid, but its much more cost-effective to take some preventative precautions.
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When Do I Change The Wax Filters
Wax filters are small plastic pieces that are attached to the hearing aid. The aim of these is to prevent wax, debris, and moisture from getting into the receiver of your hearing aid. This is very important. If wax, debris, or moisture does get into the receiver, it could greatly affect the sound quality or cause the hearing aid to malfunction.
It is difficult for an audiologist to advise a patient how often to change their wax filters. This is because each patient is different. Some people need to change them almost every month. Other people may not need to change their wax traps for several months. It all depends on the amount of wax present in the ear canal. Some patients get a lot of earwax while others do not. On average, people need to change their wax filters every month in our experience.
How Do You Change The Tips On A Hearing Aid
In order to change a wax guard on a hearing aid, you should follow these steps: 1. Remove any dome before starting. 2. Remove a wax guard from the package 3. Insert the side without a white tip into the wax guard on your hearing aid. You should feel it click into place. Do not twist or rock the wax guard and do not too push hard. 4. Pull the wax guard out by lifting the stick straight out. 5. Repeat this process with the other side of the wax guard that has the white tip on it.
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The Effectiveness Of Hearing Aid Wax Guards
Proactive maintenance and care for your hearing aids are essential. When you first receive your device from your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, you might receive plenty of advice on how to keep it dry, how to store it at night, how to prevent it from getting damaged and how to keep it clean.
While doing your part is important, there are also some accessories that can help lighten the load and take care of the hearing aid for. Hearing aid wax guards are a great example of that. Were going to look at what they are, why you need them and what can go wrong if you dont use them.
Let’s Talk About Oticon Wax Guards
So there are a range of Oticon wax guards available for both their in ear and RITE hearing aids. Both are in essence similar in nature. Let’s take a look at changing them on a custom hearing aid. First get your wax guard pack out, most Oticon packs are circular.
Step 1. Remove the tool from the shell. The tool has two pins, one empty for removal and one with the new wax filter.
Step 2. As I said, on the tool will be an empty pin and a pin loaded with a new wax guard. Push the empty pin into the old wax filter in the speaker and pull it out.
Step 3. Insert the new wax filter using the other pin, remove the tool and throw it away.
Here is a rather helpful video from Oticon on the very subject. It features the older No Wax filters for Oticon devices but the process is exactly the same.
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