To give optimum performance, Hearing Aids need to be kept clean, in the same way as you would clean your glasses or dentures.
You don’t visit the optician or dentist to ask them to carry out daily maintenance, and part of the freedom of using today’s hearing aids is that the routine maintenance can be carried out by the user or a third party without needing to see the Audiologist every time either.
Of course there is no substitute for the regular visit to your health professional, however the tips below will help to keep you hearing as well as possible in the interim.
Which is which?
One of the first questions is how do I know which instrument goes in which ear. Everything relating to the right ear will have a red marker and everything for the left will be marked blue.
You may need to look carefully though, as some colour coding is tucked away inside the battery door, or has been kept small by the manufacturer so as not to draw unwanted attention to the hearing aid. If you have RIC hearing aids the speakers will have a marking on them under the silicone dome.
Aid Not Working?
Hearing aids very rarely go wrong. This is remarkable when you consider we use them all day every day in a warm moist and an environment hostile to electronics. The vast majority of problems can be traced to battery failure or lack of cleaning.
The most common cause for your hearing aid to stop working apart from the battery is wax or moisture ingress. This is a normal function of wearing hearing aids and is not a fault. Some people produce more wax than others. Here’s how to keep on top of the situation.
Check the dome
The ear naturally expels wax. For some this goes hardly unnoticed but for others (and there is no way to tell in advance) wax is more viscose and so sticks to the hearing aid.
Changing the dome can solve the issue, and it will need to be removed to access the wax filter below if the dome is not blocked
Peel back the dome to reveal the speaker and the wax guard. Sometimes the wax guard is clear but the dome has wax inside it.
Check the top and inside of the dome for wax when you remove it. Either fit a spare or roll the dome between your fingers to clear the wax.
Note that for some instruments domes are not reusable. Your Audiologist will advise you at the time of fitting. Replacements are available.
Change the Wax Filter
More often, it is the wax filter itself that has becomes blocked. Don’t worry, it is specifically designed to do just that, thus avoiding damaging the minute speaker it is protecting.
To change the wax filter is a simple process that can be carried out by just about anyone.
The white tip is removed using a small barb which is located adjacent to the replacement wax guard. Whilst your wax guard system may look different the principals are the same for all manufacturers.
There are several different one but they all do the same job and are changed in a similar way
Check the battery
Try a fresh battery (but not more than two).
Remember to only remove the tab just before you use each battery
If the battery is dead then you would normally hear the beeps that the hearing aid emits about an hour before the battery runs out of power .
Sometimes if it is noisy, if the wax filter is blocked or the battery fails overnight you may not hear the beeps.
Batteries are incredibly reliable these days so it is highly unlikely you will have a faulty one unless the tab is missing or has already been removed once or you have purchased sub standard batteries elsewhere.
Rechargeable Hearing aids
The Belong Rechargeable range can be charged up over night to give 24 hours usage. For a boost will give 3 hours useage after just 20 minutes charge.
There is no issue with leaving them on charge for extended periods. As long as you have the aids placed in the charging unit correctly and the lights are flashing, they will be charging.
The aids automatically tuen off when inserted in the charger so press the button on the back of the aid until the green light comes to activate the aid on before inserting them in your ear.
See our ‘How to…’ videos for instruction on many aspects of looking after your hearing aids.
Hearing too much – or not enough?
Practice Makes Perfect
The longer you use your hearing system the better your brain will be able to process, learn and ultimately understand the new information it is receiving.
Use your aids every day
Even if you don’t think you need to! You will get the most benefit that way. We are on hand to help you along the way.
It takes a little while
But don’t worry. Hearing sounds in a way you have never heard them before is a vital part of getting your hearing. There is a process that the brain goes through when relearning to hear.