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Hearing Aids Tips & Advice

Modern digital hearing aids are very intricate and highly sophisticated instruments. With the latest design techniques and hard wearing materials used in the manufacturing of hearing aids, most of the time the hearing aids will be more robust than they look.  However, because they are so small, tiny particles of wax or moisture can cause the hearing aids to work less efficiently.   Below, we list some of the most common things hearing aid wearers can do to help keep their hearing aids working efficiently and prolong the life span of the hearing aids.

To ensure the hearing aids are delivering the right sound – check the following

1.  Ensure your batteries are fresh – modern digital hearing aids beep to let you know they are running out of power.  When you hear these beeps OR if you don’t get a ‘jingle’/ start-up tune when you put the hearing aid into your ear – change the battery. Another way to tell if the battery is working is to close the battery door and when the hearing aid is in your ear, cover the hearing aid tightly with your hand.  If it doesn’t make a buzz or a whistle, the battery may need changing.  A more sophisticated way to tell if the battery is working is to test it with a hearing aid battery tester available from all Leightons branches. There is an expiry date on the back of the hearing aid battery pack to make sure your batteries are still fresh.  New hearing aid batteries will still have the sticky backing on them.  If a battery doesn’t have a sticker on it, find one that does, as the one without the sticker, probably has expired.

2. Make sure the batteries are inserted the correct way into the hearing aid.  Most modern digital hearing aids are designed so that if you can’t close the battery door easily (without forcing it), it means the hearing aid battery isn’t inserted correctly. Please read your hearing aid instruction booklet on how to insert the battery as different hearing aids require different batteries or contact your hearing aid audiologist.

3. Make sure there isn’t any moisture in the hearing aid.  If you have an ITE (in the ear), CIC (completely in the canal) or RITE (receiver in the canal) hearing aid – leave the battery door open at night or when the hearing aid is not in use.  Use a dri-aid kit available from your hearing aid dispenser which contains silica gel to remove excess moisture from the hearing aid over night.  If you have a BTE (behind the ear) hearing aid which transmits sounds through an earmould into your ear – you may need to blow moisture out through the tubing in the earmould.  The mould MUST be separated from the hearing aid before you do this.  An air-blower makes blowing moisture through the tubing easier.  Otherwise make an appointment with your hearing aid audiologist to have the tubing replaced.

4. Make sure the hearing aid isn’t blocked by wax. Sometimes, even the smallest wax particles can stop the hearing aid working efficiently, even if they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
If you have an RITE hearing aid  – change the dome which sits inside your ear canal.
If you have an RITE with a custom mould or ITE/ITC/CIC hearing aid – change the wax filter. This normally looks like a small white dot which lies on the part of the hearing aid which enters your ear first. If you have a Resound hearing aid, the wax filter may be red or blue. If you have a Phonak digital hearing aid, the wax filter may be black. If you have a BTE hearing aid – check your tubing.  Your hearing aid audiologist may need to change your tubing if it is blocked with wax OR if you have been shown, separate the mould from the hearing aid, wash the earmould in warm soapy water and allow to dry before attaching the mould to the hearing aid again.

5. Make sure you have selected the correct programme on your hearing aid – all hearing aids will be set up differently.   Sometimes, when inserting the hearing aid into your ear, it is easy to change the programme and switch the hearing aid to the loop/ Telecoil or mute settings by mistake (if these have been activated by your hearing aid audiologist).  Push your programme button (if your hearing aid audiologist has discussed this with you) until you get back to your ‘normal’ programme.

To ensure the hearing aids aren’t whistling excessively – check the following

1) Make sure the hearing aid is fitted properly.  Loose or badly fitted hearing aids will cause sound to leak back out and will cause ‘feedback’.

2) Check the correct hearing aid has gone into the correct ear.  Left hearing aids are marked with a blue marking and right ones with a red marking.

3) Ensure the volume hasn’t been turned to maximum by mistake.  If you need the volume set to the maximum, contact your RHAD for the hearing aid to be retuned/ your ears to be checked.

4) Ask your GP or practice nurse to check your ears for wax.  A build-up of wax will cause the hearing aid to whistle as sound won’t be able to get past the wax.

If you have any questions or other queries please do not hesitate to contact one of Leightons Hearing Aid Audiologists, who will be happy to offer a free hearing aid check.

Sometimes if a hearing aid problem persists we may need to send it back to the manufacturers for a thorough check. Fortunately, most of the time, there is a simple, quick solution to your concern which can be rectified in branch or by discussing it with one of Leightons hearing aid audiologists.