Caring for BW – Body Worn Aid
• If your aid is in a pocket, make sure not to press down hard on it. This may break or damage the aid
• The mould attaches to the receiver, but avoid pressing down excessively on the mould as this may damage the receiver.
• Have a harness for a pocket hearing aid.
• Untwist any knots in the cords before using it. Look for signs of fray and replace the cord as soon as you can.
Caring for BTE (Behind-the-Ear) Aid
• This can be:
Regular BTE, RIC (Receiver-in-Canal) or Mini BTE
• The microphone cover tends to attract dirt or wax. Your aid may have a cleaning brush provided with it to brush the microphone cover.
• Use this for cleaning, or alternatively use and old soft bristle tooth brush.
• The tubing is important to transmit the sound to your ear properly. Replace it any time if there is hardening. The tubing getting yellowed or discolored indicates that your tubing needs to be replaces.
Caring for Custom aids – ITE (In-the-Ear), ITC (In-the-Canal), CIC (Completely-in-the-Canal) and IIC (Invisible-in-the Canal).
• It is best not to wear hearing aids when it is raining. If you have to go out in the rain, you can wrap your aids in a soft protective cover.
• The fine wore tool lets you to carefully remove all wax from your delicate device. Many aids come with wire tools packaged for cleaning.
• This is a plastic cap that can be attached to the end of the aid preventing the wax in the canal from touching the speaker of the hearing aid. You can pop it off quickly and clean it and again attach once it is dry.
Hearing Aid: Common Myths and Facts
Simply put, hearing aids are specialized machines designed to help people with hearing problems hear better. But strangely enough, many fears and misconceptions have grown up around this technological device. Check out these common myths and facts about hearing aids:
• Hearing aids are always visible from outside.
• Fact: Only certain kinds of hearing aids such as BTE devices can be seen from the outside. Many latest BTE devices are small and can be tucked discreetly behind the ear. Different machines are made using different styles, depending on the kind and degree of hearing problem. Plus some hearing aids such as CIC and the ITC hearing aids remain invisible when worn.
• Only elderly people wear hearing aids.
• Fact: Gone are the when you only found elderly people wearing large hearing aids. These days, there are many devices with the moulds custom-made for the wearer’s ear. Then there are aids which match one’s complexion so that they do not stand out. Smart looking, stylish and available in a variety of colors, hearing aids are now stylish enough for everyone, from kids to adults. So, you can flaunt a style statement and improve your quality of life with better hearing at the same time.
• Hearing aids are too expensive for everyone.
• Fact: Hearing aids are available at a wide range of prices. They start at Rs.6, 500 and go up to Rs.2.5 Lakhs or more depending on quality, performance, design etc. So people can easily buy hearing aids within Rs.10, 000.
• Wearing a hearing aid damages the ear.
• Fact: A hearing aid when worn following the proper steps does not damage the ears. On the contrary, without a hearing aid the ear with hearing loss begins to get idle as it is stimulated less by outside sounds. This is known as auditory deprivation. If it continues, the damage may affect the other ear too as it gets overworked by performing the work of both the ears. So, it is most important to wear hearing aids on time. However, it must be remembered that a hearing aid does not cure a hearing loss or completely bring back hearing the way it was. But over time, it can significantly bring back hearing the way it was. But over time, it can significantly preserve much of your hearing.
• Wearing hearing aids make all sounds equally and uncomfortably loud.
• Fact: This was an issue with the earlier hearing aids, which were based on analogue technology. Today’s digital hearing aids have sound volume control and some have auto- control volume depending on the environment one is in. Besides, many digital hearing aids can reduce the background noise and focus only on the conversation, which makes it easy to participate in day-to-day conversations.
• Wearing hearing aids means I will have uncomfortable whistling noises in the ear.
• Fact: This was an issue with analogue hearing aids. In digital hearing aids, the background noise filtering also filters whistling sounds that come from the machine. So, say goodbye to annoy whistles and squeaks with digital hearing aids!
• If my hearing loss increases, I have to throw away the aid and buy another one.
• Fact: Again, only the analogue machines have this issue as they could not be programmed. Modern digital hearing aids can easily be reprogrammed so even if your hearing loss increases you can still continue to use it after having the gain reset etc and not procure another one!
• Digital automatically means superior technology
• Fact: It is important to see well the digital technology has been used and not just go by whether it is digital or not. So, check the list of features first to see what you are getting out of the aid. After all, a hearing aid is not use and throws and is a long term investment.
• I can just go and buy hearing aids from a store
• Fact: If you suspect hearing loss, go to an audiologist and not to a store. Get the hearing aid selection and fitting done right - an audiologist has the training to determine the hearing loss and suggest the most suitable resource to help you. Beware, a non-specialized hack may choose a completely wrong hearing aid and damage your hearing forever. The first step to check for hearing loss is to get hearing tests done by trained audiologists.
• Buying a hearing aid is pointless. I’ll lose my hearing anyway.
• Fact: Doing the right things at the right time such as getting hearing aids when you have early stage hearing loss can significantly keep your hearing from getting worse. Over time, wearing hearing aids can improve the ability to hear and listen, thus boosting communication and quality of life, People who wear hearing aids consistently report a much improved quality of life compared to those who do not wear any. Besides, neglecting the hearing loss in its early stage could mean you have to buy expensive hearing aids later as you lose much of your hearing or worse even hearing aids may not work. So, do get your hearing checked as soon as you can if you suspect hearing loss.
• Even if I have hearing loss in both ears, wearing one hearing aid is good enough.
• Fact: If both ears have hearing loss, wearing two hearing aids is more effective than wearing one. Of course there are exceptions depending on the nature and kind of hearing issue. But generally speaking, researchers have found that two hearing aids help the ears get the benefit of binaural hearing. Our brain is naturally designed to be stimulated from both directions the same reason why we use two speakers for a full stereo sound while listening to music. In binaural hearing, both the ears get sound stimulation and work in a balanced way. Earlier, hearing loss specialists would mostly get their patients fitted with hearing become more obvious, more specialists are recommending two hearing aids.
• Hearing aids are not for the very young
• Fact: Hearing aids can be worn by people of any age, even children as young as six months! The sooner a child with hearing loss begins to wear aids the more the benefits for their overall development and language learning.
• There is no point buying a hearing aid for a small child. I will need to replace the aid every time since my child is growing.
• Fact: It is true that the ear of a child grows very fast during the general growth period, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy new hearing aids all the time. Digital hearing aids let you keep the same device and have it reprogrammed to fit the child’s changing hearing needs for several years. However, if the child wears custom ear moulds with the hearing aid, you need to change the ear mould to match the growth of the ear, once or twice every year.
• Hearing aids get damaged very fast.
• Fact: With proper maintenance, a branded hearing aid from a renowned company can last as long as 5 years. Factors that cause hearing aids to get damaged fast include excess moisture, earwax or dirt. An audiologist can tell you about precautions and care techniques to avoid these issues.
• When it comes to getting a hearing aid fitting an ENT specialist is a good decision.
• Fact: Every specialist has the specialization and training to deal with specific issues. The Rehabilitation Council of India or the RCI says that only an audiologist has the right to deal with hearing loss issues. The audiologist provides professional care in selecting the right hearing aid, and teaching proper maintenance and guidance techniques to the patient. From hearing evaluation and scientific tests, to objective hearing aid trials and fittings, an audiologist conducts all these in a proper systematic way.