Hearing aids come in many different styles. We base our recommendation upon several important factors such as social function, lifestyle, and medical necessities. You may be a candidate for a newly-developed style called an opened ear. In our experience, many patients receive satisfactory benefit from Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids. When you come in for your assessment, we will evaluate you at that time and let you know which product will be the best for your lifestyle and hearing loss.
This style fits behind your ear and comes in a variety of sizes. It is attached to an earpiece, or earmold, that is custom-made for your ear. BTE instruments fit a wide range of hearing losses - from mild to profound. BTE devices also may have Direct Audio Input capabilities and telephone feature.
Proper care and maintenance is essential to the life and function of your hearing instruments. Hearing aid purchase can be a major investment for you, therefore, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to keeping it functioning properly. Your audiologist may have given you information on when to bring the instruments in for a professional cleaning but there are a few things that you can do at home to keep your hearing aid working its best all the time.
It is important to use fresh batteries in your hearing aids. Batteries should be stored properly – kept out of reach of children and pets as well as not stored with medication. When a battery is dead it should be disposed of properly too.
At night the battery door of the hearing aids should be opened. This ensures that the hearing aid is turned off and not draining the battery. If you use a dry aid kit, remove the battery from the hearing aid as the dry aid kit may drain the battery.
Cleaning Your Hearing Aids
The microphone and receiver of your hearing aids are susceptible to debris and should be inspected on a regular basis. Your audiologist can provide you with tools to clean you hearing instruments at home. Generally these include a small brush and a wax loop. A clean, dry toothbrush can also be used for daily cleaning. Gently brush over the microphone and receiver to remove any wax or debris. If there appears to be any debris in the receiver tubing the wax loop can be used very gingerly to scoop out the wax. Because the receiver sits down inside this tube you must be very careful not to insert the wax loop too far which would damage the receiver.
Your hearing instrument should never be immersed in water. However you can wipe the shell with a soft, dry tissue such as a Kleenex® or rag to remove any debris.
Earmolds can be detached from a BTE hearing instrument and cleaned in a mild soap solution. The waxloop can be used to remove any wax that may enter the tubing from the ear canal. The earmold and tubing should be completely dry before reattaching it to the hearing aid as moisture will damage a hearing instrument.
If there is wax in the tubing of the earmold that cannot be removed with the wax loop or washed out, the earmold should be taken to your audiologist to have the tubing changed. Earmold tubing should be changed on a regular basis. If the tubing becomes brittle, hard, of starts to change color, this may be a sign that it is time to have the earmold checked by your audiologist for a tubing change.
Moisture can be very damaging to hearing instruments.
Hearing aids should be stored in the dry aid storage or the Restore® every night. The battery should be removed before placing the aid in a dry aid kit. Batteries should never be put in a dry aid kit – it will drain the battery’s power.
If your hearing aid is not amplifying sounds:
- Is there wax in the hearing aid receiver blocking the sound from reaching your ear?
- Is the battery dead?
- Is the hearing aid turned on?
If you have inspected the hearing aid and the battery and the hearing aid is still dead, call our office to set up an appointment to have that checked.
Your hearing aid should be a comfortable fit both physically and in volume. If at any time the fit of the instrument is uncomfortable, do not hesitate to contact your audiologist to set up an appointment for it to be checked.