Whether you are a new or long-time hearing aid user, you have probably had some concerns or personal experiences with device damage. Depending on how extensive the damage is to these digital devices with intricate electronics, getting them repaired or replaced can be costly. Proper cleaning and maintenance can prevent you from needing serious repairs and replacements.
Careful and Thorough Cleanings
If you wear your hearing aids for the entire day, they need proper maintenance.
When you’re ready to wind down for the day and go to bed, clean them out using a soft, dry cloth and a loop pick/brush. These tools should be provided to you after purchasing your hearing aids. If you are missing these tools, go to your hearing aid provider’s office to get them replaced. At Pure Sound, we recommend scheduling a cleaning with our office every six months, or less if you need a professional cleaning. You can check if there is any damage to the hearing aids.
If your ears are full of wax, gently wipe off the ears with a warm washcloth or clean them with warm water while showering to remove excess dirt and wax. Do NOT clean your ears by inserting anything small, like a cotton swab or a hairpin, into your canals. Inserting a cotton swab into your ears can cause earwax to get pushed further into the ear canals, leading to impacted earwax. A hairpin or anything of that size may puncture your eardrum, leading to further hearing loss and damage.
Do Not Drop Your Hearing Aids
Dropping your hearing aids, especially on a hard surface, can damage the devices. Depending on the impact of the fall, they may be irreparable. In most cases, if your hearing aids fall to the ground, you might need to get them repaired by your hearing aid provider, or they will send them out to the manufacturer for repairs. To avoid these problems, when you remove your hearing aids, sit down and place a towel down as a safety net in case they fall.
Remove Your Hearing Aids before Going to Bed
Even if your hearing aids are properly fitted or customized for your ears, they may still fall out when tossing and turning at night or as you rest your head against them. Prevent possible damage or losing your hearing aids by removing them and keeping them in a storage box. If you wear rechargeable hearing aids, you should place the hearing aids in a rechargeable device for storage and to recharge them for the following day.
Remove Your Hearing Aids when You’re Near or Go into a Body of Water.
Hearing aids are water resistant but not waterproof. The devices should work fine if you experience perspiration or briefly get caught in the rain. If you go swimming or shower/bathe, the devices should be removed and placed in a dry space.
Hearing aids are becoming more intricate, with novel features and ways to adjust them in any circumstance or environment. It’s important to understand that even with these advancements, proper care and maintenance will always be crucial to prevent repairs and replacements.
If you need professional cleaning or repairs done to your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for an appointment.
Daily hearing aid cleanings that are performed by you will help you get the most out of them, and expand their lifespan. Follow these steps for proper maintenance.
Before You Clean Your Hearing Aids
We recommend that you lightly clean your hearing aids each day. A more thorough cleaning should be done by a professional every 6 months. Here are some simple tips:
Cleaning Tools for Your Hearing Aids
Steps for How to Clean BTE Hearing Aids
Get a Professional Cleaning from Pure Sound Hearing
As mentioned earlier, take your hearing aids to get professionally cleaned every six months, or sooner if your hearing aids are looking too unkept, or not functioning properly. Our professionals at Pure Sound have special tools and expertise to remove wax and other debris from difficult-to-reach areas. We can also replace your wax filters, hearing aid domes, and other parts that are worn or dirty. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Assessing Problems with Hearing Aids
If you notice that your hearing aids are not functioning correctly, you might be able to fix the problem yourself. Here are some tips before you contact your hearing instrument specialist.
Do your hearing aids sound weak or are they dead?
First, you should check your batteries. Replace your current batteries with a fresh pair, or place them in the charger if they are rechargeable hearing aids. Please note that your hearing aid batteries drain quickly when you stream calls or audio from your phone.
Usually, hearing aids sound weak or dead because there’s too much wax or debris build-up. If your hearing aids feature wax guards, replace them with new ones. Your hearing aid provider should have given you cleaning tools (a brush or loop pick), to clean the microphone and receiver.
Have your hearing aids come in contact with water?
Moisture can collect in the tubing of a behind-the-ear style hearing aid or in the casing where the electrical parts are stored. If your hearing aids get wet from water or sweat, place them in a dehumidifier, drying kit, or even a bowl of dry, uncooked rice. This will help soak out the moisture from your hearing aids.
Do you hear whistling or feedback noises?
Be sure that the hearing aid is correctly inserted in your ear canal. If feedback noises are still occurring, there may be wax or debris obstructing the hearing aid microphones or your ear canals. In addition to daily cleanings, professional hearing aid cleanings should be done every six months.
Another reason for the noises may be an improper hearing aid fitting. If that’s the case, contact your hearing instrument specialist so that adjustments can be made.
Are your hearing aids sliding out of your ears?
Your hearing aid may slip out of your ears because of moisture buildup in your ear canal. The devices may also shift position when you chew or talk. Hearing aids that feature domes may need a different dome size. A retention wire might need to be added by your hearing instrument specialist.
Do your hearing aids feel uncomfortable or painful in your ears?
Make sure your hearing aids are properly placed in your ear canals. You should also see if there’s wax buildup in the ear canals. If your hearing aids still feel uncomfortable, the hearing aid dome might need to be a different size, or the customized earpiece may need to be remade to fit better.
What should you do next?
If your hearing aids are still not working, drop off your hearing aids with your hearing aid provider.
The devices may be reprogrammed or repaired in their office. It may also be shipped to the manufacturer for more technical repairs that cannot be done in the office. If your hearing aid is not fitting properly, you might need to get a new ear mold impression from your hearing instrument specialist.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing if you are experiencing any problems with your hearing aids, or need new hearing aids.
5 Hearing Aid Cleaning Tips
It’s normal for your hearing aids to get clogged with earwax after wearing them for an extensive amount of time.
Earwax, or cerumen, is crucial for ear health. It’s a natural, protective coating for the skin inside your ear canals. It traps bacteria and debris while keeping the ears lubricated so that your ears don’t get itchy and dry.
If you produce too much earwax, it can get impacted and obstruct your ear canals and hearing aids. The sounds you hear may become distorted. If earwax is causing problems with your hearing aids, here’s some advice on cleaning out the wax from your devices.
1. Use a Hearing Aid Cleaning Kit
Your hearing instrument specialist should offer cleaning kits when you purchase hearing aids. If they don’t provide a cleaning kit, you can stop by one of our Pure Sound Hearing offices and buy one. The kits include a soft cloth, a brush, a wax pick/wire loop, and a wax guard tool. You may also purchase professional-grade cleaning wipes. Do not use alcohol or alcohol wipes to clean your hearing aids or any electronics, as they can damage the devices.
2. Examine Your Hearing Aids
Before cleaning the devices, look at your hearing aids to see what areas need polishing. You should be able to pinpoint the grimy spots where earwax, dust, and other debris have built up. To remove it, carefully use the soft, dry cloth or a brush tool from your hearing aid provider to brush it off. If earwax cannot be removed, use the wax pick/wire loop.
3. Filters and Wax Guards
Most standard hearing aids feature a filter or wax guard. The user can remove and replace these without trouble. Depending on how much earwax you produce, you should change them regularly. Examine these areas each day and replace them as necessary.
4. Earmolds and Sound Bores
Sounds get collected to your ears through earmolds (the part that rests in the ear canals) or sound bores (avenues through the earmold where sound is received from the hearing aid and transmitted to the ear canal). These sections need to be regularly checked. If there’s earwax on it, use the brush or wax pick/wire loop to clear it off.
5. Clean the Tubing
Earwax can clog the tubing in behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. If there’s earwax in the tubing, use an air blower or small flexible wire to dislodge it.
If you are experiencing any problems with your hearing aids or need help cleaning them, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We recommend getting a professional hearing aid cleaning at least every six months or less.
Have you noticed after a few months, or maybe a year since you started using your hearing aids that they don’t work as well as they did after you fully adapted to them? Maybe sounds were pretty clear in most situations, but that might not be the case anymore.
We’ll go over some of the most common reasons why your hearing aids are beginning to lose their high performance and quality of sound.
1. Earwax Build-up
Your hearing aids may be working fine, and it may actually be your ears that are the problem. Impacted earwax that builds up can block the ear canals, making it harder to hear. If your hearing aids make a whistling sound, that can be another clue that there’s too much earwax build-up. A professional ear cleaning can be performed, or you can carefully remove it on your own.
2. There’s a Problem with the Batteries or the Charger
Digital hearing aids are intricate devices. Just like any piece of electronic technology, they need battery power. There are rechargeable batteries and disposable batteries available for hearing aids. One of the most common issues with chargers is that they may not come in direct contact with the charging device. As a result, the hearing aids may not be charged at all, they will die off earlier than expected, or they will only work intermittently. This is common when the hearing aids are 3-4 years old.
If you plan to purchase hearing aids, think about getting contactless rechargeable devices that function based on induction. The latest generation of rechargeable hearing aids does not have electrodes but uses induction to charge the battery. If you’re experiencing problems with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing instrument specialists will help you with a solution.
3. Blockage in the Receiver Path
Sounds that are harnessed by the hearing aids will travel through the thin tubes (behind-the-ear model) or a wire (receiver-in-ear model) to the ear canal. At the end of the wire, there’s a receiver made of a silicon dome or a customized earmold. Each of them can be obstructed with earwax. The result is weak or no output. The BTE models can be fixed by detaching the thin tube and checking if the hearing aids can still make any sound. If it did, there’s a good chance that the thin tube just needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Look closely and check for any earwax that is stuck in the thin tube or tip of the receiver by the wax guard. Use cleaning wipes or a soft cloth to wipe off the tube or replace the wax guards. Contact or stop by one of our Pure Sound Hearing offices for help, if necessary.
4. Blocked Microphones
Every hearing aid features tiny grooves where sounds reach the microphones. This slot could be compacted with dirt and debris. The small cleaning brush that you’ll receive with your hearing aids should be used to sweep over the outer part of the microphones at least once a week, or more often if you produce a lot of earwax so that the entryway for the sound is unobstructed. Sound will not be able to travel through the hearing aids if they aren’t properly cleaned. A deep cleaning done by a professional should take place every six months, or less, depending on how dirty your hearing aids get. The microphones should be cleaned daily or weekly by the hearing aid user.
5. Your Hearing has Worsened
Hearing naturally deteriorates as we age. Antibiotics, cancer treatments (particularly chemotherapy), gout, and high blood pressure can speed up and create a weakened auditory system. You should get your hearing tested annually, especially if you are a hearing aid user. Monitor any gradual or sudden changes. Keep a hearing journal if necessary. If your hearing aids worked fine, but then you noticed over 12-18 months that they no longer sound as clear as before, you may need a hearing re-test. Your hearing instrument specialist should reprogram or re-adjust the hearing aids according to your new test results.
6. Technology Malfunction
Like all electronics, hearing aids may unexpectedly malfunction. Some common problems include:
Malfunctions in hearing aids usually only occur in one hearing aid. Luckily, the majority of hearing aid providers give patients a long-term warranty on the devices. Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for troubleshooting or any other repairable problems.
7. Moisture Build-up in the Tubes
If you produce a lot of sweat, your hearing aid tubes probably tend to get obstructed with condensation. You can usually see the moisture build-up in the tubes.
Based on how much condensation builds up in the tubes, there are multiple solutions. You can place the moistened hearing aids in a special dryer or dehumidifier case overnight. They should be dried out by the next morning. If you sweat profusely and your hearing aids need to constantly be dried throughout the day, get in touch with one of our hearing aid providers at Pure Sound. You may need to get the earmold re-sized or re-shaped. A larger vent size (may acoustically) might be better for air circulation in the ear canal, decreasing moisture build-up.
If you need help with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
Why are my Hearing Aids making a Static Noise?
Hearing aids can be useful to the user, as long as they are functioning properly. Daily cleanings that are done at home or professionally, along with proper maintenance are crucial in getting the most out of your hearing aids.
If you, or others around you, start to hear static noise emanating from your hearing aids, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing instrument specialist.
Hearing aids will digitally reproduce or amplify sound, but in some cases, static noises are created, and others can hear them. This can make you feel uncomfortable while wearing your hearing aids.
What is Static Noise?
Frequencies of electromagnetic or thermal sound make up static noise, and sometimes that noise is recognized by hearing aids. If you hear this noise, it doesn’t always mean that your hearing aids need to be repaired. It might indicate that they are harnessing external noises in specific frequencies. Most homes have appliances - such as radios and Wi-Fi routers - that can generate static noise. If the static noise persists, even if you go into another room or leave your home, you may want to take a closer inspection.
The batteries are one of the simplest things to check to pinpoint the source of static noise. Make sure to clear out the battery compartment in your hearing aids of dust, and switch out the old batteries with fresh ones.
Protection from Moisture
Just like any electronic, hearing aids should be shielded from anything that can cause dampness. Be cautious if you are near any body of water, get caught in the rain, closely pass by a waterfall, or tend to sweat profusely when outdoors or during a work-out. Static noise can occur if any moisture gets into your hearing aid. If they do become moist, remove the batteries if the devices use disposable batteries and let them dry out for a few hours or overnight. You may purchase a hearing aid dry kit to place them in. Or you can even submerge them in a container of dry, uncooked rice or desiccant packs.
Brushing up Against Clothing
If you wear a hat or scarf over your ears, the fabrics can meddle with the sound waves or possibly press up against your hearing aids. This can also cause feedback noise. Try to readjust or remove your hat or scarf and notice whether this resolves the issue.
Are Sounds Too High?
Did you forget to adjust your hearing aid’s volume when you went from a busy environment to a quiet and calmer one? If you frequently need to change the volume on your hearing aids, visit your hearing instrument specialist for an adjustment.
If there’s too much earwax that is impacted inside your ears, this can tamper with your hearing aids and create static noise, or any undesirable noise. Your ears should be gently cleaned with a warm, wet cloth while bathing or showering. You should clean your hearing aids each day by using a soft cloth or a cleaning brush/loop and get a thorough cleaning from a professional every six months or less.
Noises from Your Environment
Maybe your hearing aids are fine, and the noises that you hear are coming from your environment. Ask others around you if they can also hear static noises. Normal sounds that come from a refrigerator humming or a fluorescent light may be producing static noise.
Is there a Problem with Your Hearing Aids?
The hearing aid itself may have an issue. Regular check-ups for your hearing health and hearing aid devices should be scheduled. Repairs can be made to your hearing aids in your provider’s office or they can be sent to the manufacturer, but if the problem persists, you may need new hearing aids altogether.
If you’ve ruled out the common and easy-to-fix problems, and need professional assistance, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Ear infections may occur in your middle ear - the area behind your eardrum - if there’s fluid build-up. That build-up can lead to bacterial and/or viral infections. Ear infections can be caused by allergies, colds, and the flu. Ear infections can also occur in the outer ear or ear canal if it comes in contact with bacteria or contaminated water. Some hearing aids are designed to seal off the ear canal. As a result, an ear infection can linger if they are frequently worn without proper regular cleanings.
Hearing aids are supposed to be worn all day, from the moment when you wake up to the moment when you get ready to sleep unless you take a shower/bath, or go into a body of water. To help prevent ear infections, it’s important to keep up with daily hearing aid cleanings at home and schedule professional cleanings every six months or less. If there's too much debris or earwax impacting the function of the devices, you should visit your hearing instrument specialist sooner.
Some signs of an ear infection are pain and swelling. Hearing aids are custom-fit, or a standard dome size is recommended for each user, so if there’s pain and swelling it indicates that the devices were not correctly fit. The improper fitting will also affect the sound quality that you hear when wearing them.
What Should You Do if You Have an Ear Infection from Wearing Hearing Aids?
If you or a loved one need a professional cleaning for your hearing aids or a re-fitting for a more suitable fit, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
Hearing Aid Earmolds 101
Hearing loss is as unique as the shape of a person’s ears. Being able to hear is important. Whether you can manage with a standard hearing aid or require a customized earmold, wearing hearing aids that properly fit can make a huge difference in how you absorb your environment.
Key Facts about Hearing Aid Earmolds
The hearing aid receiver is the part of the device that rests inside the ear canals. They are available in two different styles: domes or earmolds.
Hearing aid domes resemble a small cone shape. They come in standard sizes, rather than customized sizes. Hearing aid users will be provided with the domes that best fit their ear canals. If it feels uncomfortable, you may try a different size. The domes feature large openings that will harness natural sounds and provide ventilation.
Earmolds are comprised of plastic or silicone. They are custom-fit in order to rest close and comfortably in the ear canal. There are usually small air vents featured on them.
Why are Earmolds used with Hearing Aids?
If you find it difficult to hear low, most, or all frequencies (this is called flat hearing loss), an earmold can make sounds easier and more pleasant to hear because they rest securely in the ear. A secure and comfortable fit will stop amplified sound from seeping out of the ear canal and cause a feedback noise - the loud whistling noise that occurs as a result of sounds that leak and become re-amplified. Individuals with severe to profound hearing loss typically use earmolds.
Earmolds are best for any range of hearing loss. Any long-time hearing aid user might prefer wearing an earmold style, whereas new hearing aid users tend to choose hearing aid domes because they feel more comfortable, have less occlusion, and are easier to change out.
Everyone is different. Have a discussion with your hearing instrument specialist so that they can make custom earmolds or provide standard domes for your hearing aids.
Those with high-frequency hearing loss (who have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds like children’s voices) usually wear dome-style hearing aids.
Proper Hearing Aid Fit
As mentioned earlier, ear shapes are unique, therefore it’s important to have a professional hearing instrument specialist customize an earmold in order to securely fit your individual ear shape. They need to be comfortable and tight enough to stop sounds from leaking out and causing feedback noise, but not too tight to the point where it feels painful to wear.
Customizing a hearing aid is simple. The process requires creating an impression of your ear canal and the outer ear using a soft molding composite, similar to how a dentist makes an impression of your teeth.
Common Dilemmas with Earmolds
Earmolds may still require additional adjustments after the impression has been made. Ears change in shape and size as you age, so a lot of earmolds are composed of soft materials that can be adjusted by your hearing instrument specialist.
Repairing Problems with Earmolds
Here are some typical problems that earmold users encounter:
Earmolds used as Earplugs
People who don’t wear hearing aids can wear earmolds. Custom earplugs and earmolds can be used to protect your hearing health from loud noise exposure. Musicians, professional football players, and race car drivers wear earmolds that feature an acoustic chamber that obstructs most noise while letting the wearer understand speech sounds. Swimmers wear special earmolds that prevent water from entering their ears. Talk to our hearing instrument specialists if you’re interested in getting custom earmolds.
The earmold is a crucial detail of your hearing aids. Just like with standard domes, the earmold should be wiped down with professional cleaning wipes before getting ready to sleep. If you notice any debris in the openings or tubing of the earmold, properly clean them by applying the instructions that your hearing aid provider gave you. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact them.
If you have any problems with your hearing aids, need a new pair of hearing aids, or are overdue for a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Problems and Solutions: My Hearing Aids Feel Uncomfortable and Everything Sounds Too Loud. How do I Adjust to This?
As we’ve mentioned before, adapting to hearing aids takes time. Wearing your hearing aids every day, for as long as you can, will help you adjust to them and the sounds that you've missed out on. Eventually, there may be moments when you forget that you’re even wearing hearing aids.
Learn as much as possible about your hearing aids from your hearing instrument specialist. They are professionals when it comes to the hearing aid’s technology and understanding how the devices work. With your hearing instrument specialist present, practice placing your hearing aids in and removing them. They can give you tips on how to do it safely so that you don’t snap the receiver’s wires. Cleaning tips, replacing the batteries, and identifying the left hearing aid from the right hearing aid will be crucial so that you can get the most out of your hearing aids.
Ask how to test them in different environments where you have a difficult time hearing. Some hearing aids automatically adjust the volume and settings, while others require manual adjustments that can be made through your smartphone. Work with your hearing instrument specialist until you are satisfied with them. They will be available when you need help.
Common Problems that Arise
Do the hearing aids feel uncomfortable?
Wearing a new pair of hearing aids can feel like breaking in a new pair of shoes. They may initially feel too tight and uncomfortable. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist to find out how often you should wear your hearing aids each day during your adjustment period. Most would say to wear them from the moment you wake up, until the moment when you are getting ready for bed. But it might depend on your comfort level.
Are you hearing feedback noises?
Loud whistling sounds can come from your hearing aids if they don’t fit properly, or if it’s obstructed by earwax or fluid.
Does your voice sound too loud?
The occlusion effect is the blocked-up feeling you hear that makes your voice sound louder. This can seem startling to new hearing aid users. A correction may need to be made by your hearing instrument specialist. Most people get used to the sound as they adapt.
Are background noises too loud or distracting?
If you are hearing background noises or other people’s conversations, instead of the individuals who you are speaking with, your hearing aids will need additional adjustments.
Is there a buzzing sound when using your smartphone?
Hearing aid users may notice interferences from frequencies that are caused by smartphones or cellphones. There are more improvements in digital hearing aids and smartphones, so these problems do not occur as often as they used to.
If you are experiencing any problems with your hearing aids and need an adjustment, repair, or new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation.
Whether you engage in a vigorous workout routine, spend time outdoors on a sunny and humid day this summer, or store your hearing aids in a bathroom while taking a hot shower, it’s important to take care of your hearing aids when they come in contact with moisture.
Hearing aids are electronic devices that feature a microphone, speaker, volume amplifier, and plastic tubing that connects the hearing aid receiver dome with the body of the devices (the hard plastic casing that holds the battery, microphone, speaker, and amplifier). Just like with any electronic, too much moisture can damage hearing aids. There’s no such thing as a waterproof hearing aid. It is recommended that you remove your hearing aids when taking a shower, a bath, or dipping into a body of water.
Hearing aids can last for nearly six years if you keep up with daily cleaning routines, and professional cleanings every six months or less depending on how much debris builds up on the hearing aids. These devices rest inside the ear canals while trapping moisture, earwax, and heat. It’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Feedback noises can occur if the hearing aids are not properly fit, and cleaned. You can also reduce the risk of ear infections and the cost of hearing aid repairs by practicing daily cleanings yourself.
Humidity can cause moisture to build up in your hearing aids, which is inevitable if you are outdoors in scorching temperatures or working out. Humidity is one of the top complaints from hearing aid users. Not only can it damage the hearing aids, but the battery life can also deplete quicker, making the devices less effective.
Getting Rid of Moisture in Your Hearing Aids
One of the ways to reduce the amount of moisture buildup in your hearing aids is by using a dehumidifier. These are boxes or kits that you can purchase from Pure Sound Hearing.
Simply take the hearing aids and place them in the box or kit when they become damp. They can also be placed in the box overnight to dry out. You may also use the beads from silica gel packets/desiccants or dry, uncooked rice that’s placed in a bowl or jar, and then place the damp hearing aid in the desiccant or uncooked rice.
If you wear your hearing aids during a workout or while doing chores outdoors, wear a sweatband/headband to prevent sweat from dripping onto your hearing aids.
Pure Sound Hearing offers professional-strength cleaning wipes and a loop brush cleaning tool for your hearing aids. Stop by at one of our office locations to purchase them.
If you need a professional cleaning for your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
The Hearing Aid Dome
Domes are tiny, malleable, bell or mushroom-shaped silicone parts that are connected to the end of hearing aid tubing and rest deep inside the ear canal. These are also known as tips.
After the domes on hearing aids are inserted inside the ear, once the hearing aids are on, they transfer sounds from the microphone, into your ears.
The dome is meant to secure the small speakers that transfer sounds to the ears. They are available in various standard sizes to fit a person’s unique ear shape.
Domes are generally paired with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, which are also called receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) or receiver in the ear (RITE). Domes are attached to the hearing aids through a wire surrounded by a thin tube. These are available in various sizes. Your hearing instrument specialist can find the right dome and tubing that’s customized for your ears.
These hearing aid styles place the speaker inside the ear canal, while the processor and microphone rest over the top of the ear.
Should You use a Hearing Aid Dome?
Hearing aids that feature domes are primarily used by patients with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, particularly those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
These hearing aid styles are usually small. They feature a microphone and processor inside a small case and sit behind the ear. The speaker is connected to the processor through a thin tube or wire that sits behind the ear.
This hearing aid style should not be worn by anyone with severe-to-profound hearing loss. A behind-the-ear (BTE) device that has an earmold would be more appropriate. A customized earmold has powerful amplification and is less likely to become damaged from moisture in the ear canal.
Everyone is different, so personal preferences will vary from person to person.
What are the Positive and Negative Characteristics of Hearing Aid Domes?
An advantage of using hearing aid domes is the way it fits in your ear canals. Low-frequency sounds can still be heard through an “open fit”.
Hearing aids need to be vented so that ears don’t become occluded. Natural sounds and airflow must travel through the ear in order for sounds to be pleasant and comprehensible.
Cleaning domes is a breeze. Simply use a soft cloth to wipe them off at the end of the day. If there’s debris or earwax on them, you can use a loop brush or professional strength hearing aid cleaning wipes. These can be purchased at our Pure Sound Hearing offices.
Hearing aid manufacturers have the same sizes and styles of domes, so replacing them is inexpensive.
Hearing aid domes need to be changed at least every two to three months due to wear and tear. It is possible to get a dome stuck in your ear, so it’s important to be aware of this and be careful.
Discuss the frequency of changing out the domes and maintenance. DO NOT wear old domes with new hearing aids. They may not be compatible and could get stuck in your ears if they cannot remain fastened to the receiver.
Domes are also prone to damage caused by earwax or moisture in the ear. They may also be tricky to handle due to their size and a person’s dexterity problems.
Work with a Professional Hearing Instrument Specialist
Get help from a hearing instrument specialist (HIS). They are highly trained to address a patient’s hearing aid needs. A poor fit can impact your ability to hear clearly, and comfort levels while wearing the hearing aids. Feedback noises can also occur due to a poor fit hearing aid. Everyone has a unique ear shape and range of hearing loss, so a HIS will be able to tweak and program an individual’s device to correspond with their particular listening needs.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you, or someone in your life, are a hearing aid user, making sure that the devices are working at their ideal function is crucial for healthy hearing, great communication, and good quality of life. Here are some tips that you may not be aware of when taking care of hearing aids.
1. Before Inserting and Removing Your Hearing Aids, Clean Your Hands.
Avoid bacteria from infecting your ears by regularly cleaning your hearing aids. Dirt buildup might not allow your hearing aids to function at their best. Clean your hands before inserting them and removing them.
2. The Battery Door should Always be Closed
Unless you use hearing aids with rechargeable batteries, make sure that the battery door is firmly closed after the disposable batteries are placed in the hearing aids. If the door is opened, the hearing aids may not work or the sound amplification may be lowered.
If the battery door won’t shut completely, try flipping the battery around. Check if there’s any damage on the battery door, it may need to be fixed.
3. If a Friend or Family Member Hears Feedback Noises from Your Hearing Aids
Sometimes hearing aids might make a high pitches noise. This is known as feedback noise. It can happen for two different reasons: poorly fit hearing aids or the feedback loop is too close to a speaker/another device that makes a sound. Someone that you are with will probably hear this, but you may not be able to hear it as clearly.
If this happens, remove the hearing aid(s) and cup it/ them in your hand. This will decrease the high-pitched noise and remove the hearing aid(s) away from whatever may be causing the noise. When the noise subsides, place the hearing aids back in your ears. The microphones and receiver should work correctly.
4. Keep Hearing Aids Protected from Extreme Weather
Conditions that are too hot and humid or too cold can damage your hearing aids. The best place to store them is in a cool, dark, dry place. Use a special case for the devices when you are not wearing them.
If they get wet, you can soak them in silica gel or even place them in a bowl of dry, uncooked rice.
5. Daily Cleanings
Hearing aids need to be lightly cleaned each day. Use alcohol-free cleaning wipes and cleaning tools to help remove dirt and debris. Every six months, we recommend getting a professional deep cleaning. You can get these cleaning wipes, tools, and services from our offices at Pure Sound Hearing.
6. Use a Dryer
Hearing aids retain moisture from the body and other external elements like rainy weather. Like any electronics, moisture can damage the hearing aids, resulting in subpar efficiency. Get a hearing aid dryer to prevent this from happening. A dryer removes moisture from the devices so that they can work at optimum levels.
7. Dome Replacements
The part of the receiver that goes into your ear canal is the dome. These should be replaced every four to six weeks. Hearing aids with domes that are not properly cleaned or replaced after four to six weeks, will not have the best possible sound quality. This is caused by clogged debris and bacteria.
Your hearing aid provider can replace the dome for you, or you can change them on your own. Make sure that they are properly placed on the receiver or other problems may arise, like feedback noise or the dome might get stuck in the ear.
8. Wax on Hearing Aids, Wax off Hearing Aids
Earwax can impede a hearing aid’s performance. Cleaning your ears and hearing aids regularly from earwax can help your hearing aids work at their optimal level.
Simply use a soft dry cloth or cleaning wipes to get the wax off from your hearing aids each night when you take them out before going to bed. Do not use cotton swabs to clean out the ears. They can worsen your hearing loss by pushing earwax further into your ears. Instead, clean them out with a washcloth dipped in warm water.
Check out these additional tips.
If you need a hearing test and maybe even hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If there have been any noticeable shifts in your hearing health and you think that you have some range of hearing loss, get it checked out immediately. Receiving a professional assessment for your hearing loss can narrow down the options that are available for you, and improve your overall health. Early detection is crucial for reducing additional loss.
First, you need to schedule an appointment with experienced hearing health care providers. Here are three advantages to seeking help from a hearing instrument specialist:
1. A hearing instrument specialist can give you a hearing evaluation.
Most people believe that a hearing instrument specialist only assists you with your hearing aid selection process. That is one part of their job, but they also determine your range of hearing loss and advise you on whether hearing aids would be an appropriate solution.
2. A hearing instrument specialist can pair the most suitable hearing aid to fit your listening needs.
Hearing loss is unique to each individual. There is no “one size fits all” or “best hearing aid”. Hearing aids come in different styles, types, and brands. Finding out whether you have hearing loss after a hearing test is just the first, but most important, step towards better hearing. The next step is to figure out which hearing aids would improve your hearing. Results from a hearing test and a hearing instrument specialist’s expertise will help you find the right devices. Whether you have an active or sedentary lifestyle or need to work within a certain budget, a hearing instrument specialist will not only advise you on the best hearing aids for you but will also provide custom programming on the devices.
3. A hearing instrument specialist will give maintenance advice, repairs, and aftercare services.
In addition to receiving the appropriate pair of hearing aids, your hearing instrument specialist will also be available for extra services to help guide you through getting the most out of your hearing aids. If you need any repairs, cleanings, or supplies for the hearing aids, they will be happy to provide these services.
Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing if you, or a loved one, are noticing hearing loss. Our hearing instrument specialists are available to administer hearing tests, guide you through your hearing aid selection process, and any other hearing aid maintenance services that you may need.
Getting Ready for Your Follow-up Appointments
Between now and your follow-up appointment with your hearing instrument specialist, keep notes or even a journal on your progress or any problems that you had with your hearing aids.
Questions to consider:
Jot down any of your questions or concerns with the devices, and bring these notes to your follow-up appointments so that your hearing instrument specialists can address the issue.
Discussing Your Progress, and any Bumps Along the Way
These are helpful meetings that are meant to let your hearing instrument specialist ask questions about your progress and any problems that you’ve encountered. Of course, if you are noticing issues with your hearing aids before the appointment, contact your hearing aid provider’s office to ask questions and voice concerns. The more detailed your questions are, the better help your hearing instrument specialist can provide.
All of the challenging environments that you frequent give your hearing instrument specialist the information that is needed to make adjustments to the programming/settings.
Adjustments can also be made if you find it difficult to communicate with loved ones. Let your hearing instrument specialist know the pros and cons that you experience while wearing them. Did something exceed your expectations? Were there any shortcomings? Give as much detailed feedback as possible, so that you can get the most out of wearing your hearing aids.
Reviewing Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance Practices
You should have been given a lot of information on care and maintenance for your hearing aids. Your follow-up appointment will focus on reviewing these practices and clarifying any uncertainty about them. You’ll probably get a reminder on the function of each program/channel, how to access them, and if applicable, how to use your smartphone app.
Finely Tuning Your Hearing Aids
With the observations, questions, and concerns that you expressed, your hearing instrument specialist will use that information to make readjustments to the hearing aids. They may add other programs, tweak existing programs, or maybe give you different domes or tubing. If some of your concerns suggest that your ears and brain are not smoothly working in conjunction with one another, after too many years of untreated hearing loss, some brain exercises may be suggested to help create a stronger bond between the ear and the brain. A listening app or auditory training can be useful in these cases.
What Happens Next?
If you purchase a pair of hearing aids from Pure Sound, towards the end of your trial period, contact us to schedule your follow-up. Depending on the adjustments that need to be made, you may need to schedule a follow-up sooner. The earlier any problems are addressed, the easier it will be to transition to a full-time hearing aid user.
Get the most out of your hearing aids by contacting us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Receiving Services from a Hearing Care Provider can Improve Overall Experience with Hearing Aids
We have mentioned the reasons why it’s best to receive services from a local hearing aid provider.
Hearing care services are usually included with the cost of hearing aids. Learn more about hearing care plans offered by Pure Sound by visiting our Unbundled Pricing page. This includes cleanings, re-fittings, re-programmings, and any other issues that may arise during your adjustment period. You will not receive these same services if you purchase them online or over-the-counter (OTC).
Adapting to hearing aids takes time and patience. Additional tuning and adjustments are necessary in order to get the most out of your journey towards better hearing.
Hearing Aid/Care Services are Generally NOT included with the Purchase of Cheap Hearing Aids
Cheaper hearing aids usually do not feature these services to care for the devices. This is why they are cheaper. It’s also why many customers leave feeling unhappy with their purchase. It’s a waste of money. In fact, you will need more care and maintenance because the cheaper hearing aids are not carefully fit or programmed by a hearing aid specialist.
The investment that you make with your hearing aids is important for your hearing health, which can impact your overall health. Make sure that you are happy with your hearing aids by ensuring that you will have access to extra services when they are necessary.
If you are in need of hearing aids with professional care and services, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to set up an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Are You a Hearing Aid User with an Active Lifestyle? Here are some Tips for Keeping Your Hearing Aids and Hearing Health in Shape.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining your overall health. If you’re a hearing aid user who practices physical exercises regularly, it’s advised that you wear your devices during workout sessions.
3 Reasons why Hearing Aids should be used during Exercise Routines
Be prepared by bringing Hearing Aid Gear during Workouts
To get the most out of your workout, reduce distractions and feel confident while wearing your hearing aids by being prepared. Here’s a suggestion of supplies you should keep with you.
How to take care of Your Hearing Aids after Your Workout
If you frequently work out, be cautious about wear and tear. This will help your hearing aids last longer, after each workout session.
Keep up an Active Lifestyle
According to the Hear the World Foundation, 70 percent of hearing aid users have said that they wear their hearing aids while participating in sports and did not experience any problems. About 37 percent of users said they enjoy participating in sports more when wearing them. So if you aren’t already wearing hearing aids while playing sports, try it out.
Be aware of Dangerous Noise Levels in the Gym
Gyms are well-known for blasting music too loudly during workout sessions. This can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus. If you lift very heavy weights, while holding your breath, this can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus. It’s important to protect your ears from lesser-known risks to hearing health. Special settings can be programmed into your hearing aids for all sorts of environments, like gyms.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about programming a customized setting in your hearing aids before your next visit to the gym, or workout session from home.
6 Tips for Hearing Aid Maintenance
Basic hearing aid maintenance can be done by you, in your own home. If you are having more advanced problems with them, our staff at Pure Sound can help or we can send your hearing aids to the manufacturer if other technical problems need to be addressed.
Some simple steps for maintenance care can be made to extend the life of your devices.
The care that you give for your hearing aids is just as important as the care that your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound provides. To make sure they have optimal performance, we recommend a professional cleaning every six months. If something is wrong with your hearing aid, check in with our providers. They will identify and take care of visibly damaged devices or any other issues that might not be easy to notice.
Here are 6 Tips for Proper Hearing Aid Maintenance
Contact Pure Sound Hearing if you need to schedule a professional cleaning, or need help with maintenance. If you need new hearing aids, schedule a free hearing test and consultation with us.
The whistling is actually feedback noise from your hearing aid. It tends to happen when you’re too close to a radio or speaker that’s switched on. Feedback noises can also happen while putting a shirt or scarf on.
How do feedback noises occur with hearing aids?
Hearing aid feedback noises occur as a result of sounds that were supposed to travel through your ear canal, but move out of your ear and return to the hearing aid’s microphone. This sound becomes reamplified, which is what leads to the whistling noise.
Feedback noises can happen in many different situations, including the moment when you insert or remove the hearing aids from your ears. It can even happen when someone embraces you. This is common. The hearing aid devices are responding to the sound that ricochets from your environment.
Hearing aid feedback may also occur as a result of a much-needed repair, or a more thorough cleaning from a professional.
5 Cause of Whistling Noises
Today’s hearing aids feature feedback cancellation, but it’s not always helpful. Here are the most common causes of feedback noises and what can be done about them.
1. Poorly fit hearing aids - Everyone’s ears change as they age. The ear’s shape and hearing abilities are prone to change. If they do, the earmolds may loosen and will not have a secure seal. When this happens, the sound moves away from your ear and back to the hearing aids’ microphones. This is when the feedback occurs. A hearing instrument specialist can fix this problem by making new earmolds that are securely fitted in your ear. Weight gain or weight loss can affect the way your ears and how the earmolds fit you.
An improper hearing aid fitting may let the sound leak and re-enter the hearing aids’ microphone. So talk to your hearing instrument specialist, and let them know if your hearing aid feels loose. They will guide you and make sure the devices are properly fitted.
2. Broken tubes - For the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, the tube that connects the earmold can become hard and shrink. In some instances, the tubing will tug at the earmold. This warps and changes the fitting. In this case, the tube needs to be replaced.
3. Loud volume - Sometimes you’ll have a hard time hearing in certain environments, so you may crank up the volume on your hearing aids. Increasing the volume to the point where it’s too loud can force the sound to re-enter the hearing aids. This is what causes the whistling noise. Lower the volume on the hearing aids. In the future, try to avoid being around sounds that are so loud that it creates feedback.
4. Producing excessive amounts of earwax - Your hearing aids harness sounds directly into your ear canals. If the ear canal is clogged and impacted with too much earwax, the sounds won’t be able to reach them. This is when the noises bounce back into the hearing aids and whistle.
Excess earwax can obstruct your ear canal. This not only creates issues with your hearing aid devices, but you may experience earaches or even harm your hearing health.
Your ears should be cleaned by a professional. Do not insert anything smaller than your fingers into your ears. Check to make sure the receiver, vents, and tubing aren’t clogged with earwax.
5. Loose microphone - Loud feedback noises can be caused due to loose or microphones that have been displaced. If you experience this problem, ask your hearing instrument specialist for help.
If you still have an issue with feedback noises from your hearing aids, schedule an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing.
Did you know that most hearing aid users do not use services that are available through their hearing aid provider?
According to a study from Johns Hopkins, only one-third of hearing aid users take advantage of the hearing care services that are accessible through their provider.
Hearing aids are an important investment for not only your hearing health, but also your personal/work relationships, and your overall health. Just like with anything you invest in, why not get the most out of it?
Receiving hearing aids from a professional hearing instrument specialist ensures that you will have the proper fitting, along with the maximum performance, satisfaction, and quality service.
The hearing devices and hearing aid services that an experienced hearing instrument specialist can give you are verified. Hearing aids purchased over the internet may not work properly, and will most likely cost you more in the long run.
At Pure Sound, we provide thorough testing, custom fittings, and tuning along with follow-up appointments, advice, and hearing aid cleanings/maintenance from our staff.
Patients who do not utilize these services tend to become more discouraged about wearing their hearing aids. As a result, they do not get the most satisfaction from their hearing aids, which will exacerbate their hearing health.
Avoid this situation for the sake of your health and investment.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation at one of our offices in Lititz, Elizabethtown, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg. We're always here to help.
Is it Time to Replace Your Hearing Aids? Get in Touch with Us at Pure Sound Hearing.
On average, hearing aid users replace their hearing devices between three to five years. You may need to replace them before that. Technology is as ever-changing as your hearing loss. Hearing aids that are worn out could indicate that it’s time for an upgrade.
Has there been a Shift in Your Ability to Hear?
A human’s ability to hear is always evolving. More powerful hearing devices will be more helpful for hearing loss that has shifted from moderate to severe. Modern technology has made so many advancements that older models can’t compete with them.
With the help of an experienced hearing instrument specialist, many modern hearing aids can now be programmed to block out background noises and even the sound of wind.
Has there been a Change in Your Lifestyle?
As long as they are charged or having functioning batteries in them, your hearing aids are constantly working. If you have an active lifestyle, that can wear down your devices. There are hearing aids, like Starkey’s Livio AI, which help support an active and healthy lifestyle with the Thrive Hearing app.
Your physical health will also determine which hearing aids would work best for you. If you suffer from arthritis, behind-the-ear hearing aids will be easier to put on than devices that are placed inside your canal.
Today’s hearing aids can conveniently stream audio from phone calls, tablets, or TV directly into your ears.
Do Your Hearing Aids Need to be Repaired?
Are you hearing aids frequently being sent out for repairs? If this is the case, you may need to invest in a new pair. Exposure to elements such as debris, dirt, humidity, sweat, and wax will wear down your devices at a faster rate.
Proper maintenance such as light cleanings, thorough cleanings from a professional and keeping the devices dry in a dry aid kit will help them last longer. If they’re not jostling around in your purse, bag, or pocket - or if they are dropped - the device’s algorithms can be impacted.
If you, or a loved one, need to replace or repair your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
When selecting a hearing instrument specialist, you need to think about the options that are available for you in your area. Having a number of choices is good, but knowing which one is suitable for you is not always obvious. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some things that you should consider.
Excellent Communication Skills
Someone with good communication is important for any type of service. This rings particularly true when dealing with your health and selecting a product that will significantly improve your life. Your hearing instrument specialist should be good at effectively communicating with you, in addition to listening and accommodating to your hearing needs. They should review your personal requirements and make recommendations based on your concerns. They should also have a team at the office with whom you can easily communicate and voice your questions or needs.
Is Your Hearing Instrument Specialist Knowledgeable about the Latest Technology?
Since your hearing instrument specialist is going to help you select hearing aids or an assistive listening device, they should have thorough knowledge about the products that they provide. If you have an interest in pairing your hearing aids with your Bluetooth®-connected devices, your hearing instrument specialist should be able to show you hearing aids and other listening devices that would work with your lifestyle.
Full-Services for Hearing Aids
You should receive a thorough service from your hearing instrument specialist, that satisfies your particular needs. Prior to showing you any products, they should go over your general lifestyle, which includes your daily activities and recreation. A detailed explanation should be provided when going over hearing aid options and fitting them. The hearing aids should feel comfortable during the fitting process. If the devices do not feel comfortable, let your hearing aid provider know. In addition to simply providing you with hearing aids, full-services are also arranged to help you care for your hearing health.
Long-Term Hearing Aid Care
A good hearing instrument specialist should stress the importance of long-term care for your hearing aids and hearing health. If you were fitted for a hearing aid, they should have you schedule a follow-up appointment in the near future. This gives you a chance to talk about how your new device feels and functions. You can also get adjustments if they are needed. Repairs and cleaning services should be provided in order to get the most out of your hearing aids.
At Pure Sound Hearing, you'll find these qualities in our hearing instrument specialists. Feel at ease knowing that you will be on a journey to better hearing.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids and hearing aid care, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands which include HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
What is the Lifespan of Hearing Aids?
When choosing a new pair of hearing aids, it’s important to think about how long the devices will last. It’s similar to purchasing a car, where the mileage might be different for each car model.
Many of today’s high-quality hearing aids have a lifespan of three to seven years. It’s important to take into consideration the fact that even if two different people get the same hearing aids, they can last for very different lengths of time.
What Influences How Long Hearing Aids can Last?
There are at least nine circumstances that can affect the lifespan of hearing aids:
1. The components that are used to produce the hearing devices
Even though hearing aids are designed and built to be sturdy, hearing aids are constructed out of metal, plastic, silicon, and many other components that can eventually wear down. Most modern hearing aids feature a protective nano-coating that repels dust, liquid, and moisture. It should still be treated with a lot of care to protect them from any physical and internal damage to the electronic components.
2. Advancements in technology
Old hearing aid models can become obsolete. Between five to 10 years, hearing aids manufacturers might stop producing replacement pieces for certain devices, making repairs to earlier models very difficult or unattainable. Software that is used to program hearing aids gets updated over time, and ultimately becomes antiquated. This creates huge obstacles to reprogramming old hearing aid models. Advancements in hearing aid technology move very quickly. Technology that was considered top-of-the-line six to seven years ago would be considered outdated today. Many people who get hearing aids, seek to benefit from the latest technology that will be available in four to five years.
3. The style of the hearing aids
Generally speaking, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids have a longer lifespan than in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. This is because more of the electronic parts rest inside the ear canal, which is a damp environment. The latest advancements in nanocoatings for internal and external units might be able to improve the durability of these hearing aid styles.
4. The frequency of cleaning
The majority of people would never go months without cleaning their body, face, or hair. Unfortunately, most hearing aid users forget or don’t think about the effects of exposure to outdoor environments. Dust, moisture, oil, and sweat, caused by high humidity and sunlight can clog up your hearing aids. In addition to all of that, your earwax can also block up your hearing aids. Some hearing aid users only get their devices cleaned by a professional twice a year. This damages the hearing aids and can cut their lifespan. To lengthen their lifespan, it is recommended that they are cleaned as directed by your hearing instrument specialist and professionally cleaned by your hearing instrument specialist every six months.
5. The frequency of maintenance
Most hearing aids feature parts that can be readily replaced. These include dome earpieces, earmold tubing, and wax guards. These are replaced by your hearing healthcare provider during regular maintenance visits. Other hearing aid parts can also be replaced, such as the battery doors, earmolds, external speakers, and covers for the microphone. It’s important to take care of your hearing aids so that they can last longer.
6. Where the hearing aids are worn
Hearing aids that stay in damp or dusty environments, may malfunction. If you have concerns about the environments that you frequent with your hearing aids, talk to your hearing instrument specialist for guidance. They may recommend that you use a sleeve to preserve the hearing aids or schedule more professional cleanings to prolong the life of your hearing aids.
7. How the hearing aids are stored
How you Store your hearing aids, when they are not being worn, can also affect a hearing aid’s lifespan. Hearing aids that use disposable batteries should be stored while the battery door is open, and placed inside a dehumidifier. This will help remove moisture and keep your devices dry, which will extend its lifespan. Discuss storage units and dehumidifier options with your hearing instrument specialist.
The lithium batteries in rechargeable hearing aids last for four to five years. It’s like the battery life of your smartphone - the longer you own the device the shorter the lifespan becomes. If your battery is draining faster than normal, talk to your hearing instrument specialist about replacing your lithium batteries or getting new hearing aids.
8. A person’s body physiology
In some cases, bodily fluids can significantly affect the metal and plastic parts of hearing aids and usually discolor or diminish those parts quicker than others. Some people produce a lot of earwax, oil, or sweat, which can affect the hearing aids' lifespan. If you experience any of these issues, mention them to your hearing healthcare provider when choosing your hearing aids.
9. A person’s individual hearing needs
The changes in what you personally need for your hearing health may also affect how long your hearing aids last. In some cases, after many years, your hearing loss may become so progressive to the point where you may need a more powerful device. Your individual lifestyle might change and you may need a hearing aid that has more - or less - features.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. If you need additional information or advice on how to clean and maintain your hearing aids, contact us.
There are many things to think about when a loved one lives in a nursing home. Are they receiving adequate care? Are they eating properly? Are they safe? Everyone wants what is best for their loved ones. More pressing needs like hygiene and their primary care tend to get addressed first. Caring about their hearing health may become less important.
Moving into a nursing home is not a smooth transition for anybody. Also having hearing loss and living through a pandemic that impacts the health and well-being of older individuals can lead to feelings of anxiety, frustration, and isolation.
Hearing Healthcare is Neglected in Nursing Homes
Studies have shown that between 70 to 90 percent of people who are in long-term care experience hearing loss, but most staff members in nursing homes are unaware of their disability. In a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 30 out of 279 residents in nursing homes had a hearing test within the last year. The study also found that 81 percent of the residents did not receive any care for their hearing health.
In some cases, even if a resident wore hearing aids, they went unused due to the maintenance that was needed. Other reasons why some hearing aid users don’t wear hearing aids:
Hearing Loss that goes Untreated Leads to Poor Quality of Life
As we age, many of us will develop presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). The ability to hear the environment around you is important for a good quality of life. Anyone who has hearing loss and cognitive decline is more likely to experience problems when it comes to living in a facility for long-term care. Hearing loss typically goes undetected in patients who have Alzheimer’s, which leads to more incidents of anger, anxiety, and confusion. Symptoms of cognitive damage can worsen with hearing loss. This emphasizes the need for caregivers and staff members to be more aware of an elderly person’s hearing loss. Regular hearing tests or screenings should be conducted. Hearing aid use and maintenance should be just as important as the daily medication that they receive.
There are some things that can be done to make sure that your loved one is getting adequate care for their hearing health. It needs to be a team effort. Build a positive relationship between you, your loved one, and the staff. Good communication can help build a solid foundation. Familiarizing yourself with the nursing home’s policies on hearing aids and hearing care can help put everyone on the same page when it comes to the hearing health of your loved one.
Communicating through COVID
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing home staff are required to wear facemasks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of the residents. When possible, residents should also wear them. Masks tend to muffle sounds and make it impossible to lipread, which is why many residents in nursing homes are having additional problems when it comes to communication. Here is an article that shares tips on how to communicate with people with hearing loss, while wearing a mask.
Advice to Care for Hearing Aids in a Nursing Home
Place a Label on the Hearing Aids
Hearing aids that go missing are sometimes difficult to find and expensive to replace. The tiny devices can get collected in bedsheets when the staff changes them. You may want to write your loved one’s name on a label and place it onto the device. You can also use the “Find My Hearing Aids” feature in the TruLink Hearing Control app on a smartphone.
Create a designated Storage Space when they are not being Used
Hearing aids that use disposable batteries can be stored in a hard plastic case, like the one that came with the devices when they were purchased. Rechargeable hearing aids should be placed in the charger overnight.
Use a Cord and a Clip
A cord and clip can be used to connect to the hearing aids at one end and clips onto the hearing aid user’s clothes. They can also prevent the hearing aids from falling onto the floor (and getting trampled on) if they fall off of the ears. Some options that can be used are the Ear Gear and Earstay.
One can only hope and imagine that the nursing staff would be able to take care of each resident’s hearing aid needs, to make sure that the devices are thoroughly cleaned, functioning at their best, and are being worn by the user. Due to the time constraints, and other tasks that the staff needs to tend to, your loved one’s hearing aids won’t be a high priority. Family members need to help with that maintenance. The devices need to be cleaned regularly to remove debris that builds up, otherwise, it can clog the microphones and amplifiers, rendering the device useless. If the hearing aids use disposable batteries, they should be checked each week to replace them with fresh batteries.
Discuss Hearing Aids with Staff
Talk to the staff and mention that your loved one needs to put the hearing aids on when they wake up in the morning and removed before going to bed at night. Based on a nursing home’s policies, this should be an easy task that can be taken care of by a staff member. Ask them about their policies for hearing aids when you first meet and discuss your loved one’s move into the home. Do some research and learn about the rights of nursing home residents in your area.
When someone lives in a nursing home, they have the same rights as everyone else in the community along with 32 additional rights under the federal law known as the Older Americans Act.
They have a right to wear and get help with the devices that they need to function on a daily basis. Make sure they are receiving regular care for their hearing needs.
Work with your loved one’s nursing home and ensure that they are getting regular appointments and check-ups. It is common for residents in nursing homes to be treated as tasks rather than individuals who all have different needs.
Some nursing homes include policies where they will cover a deductible for a lost or damaged hearing aid. Find out what the nursing home’s policy is for your loved one’s lost or damaged hearing aid so that you know and understand what would happen if this were to occur.
Advocate for Hearing Care
The best thing you can do to help a loved one who resides in a nursing home is to be an advocate for their long-term care. This includes taking their hearing health, particularly age-related hearing loss, into consideration. Be part of the initial planning for hearing care needs and in any follow-up appointments.
Family members can discuss what their loved ones with hearing loss need and what their personal preferences are, such as whether their loved one prefers leaving the hearing aids out while sleeping at night.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a hearing test and hearing aids please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment. We offer a wide variety of hearing aid styles and brands for your hearing needs.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.
Why Should You Get Your Hearing Tested and Hearing Aids Checked on a Regular Basis?
Whether you wear hearing aids or not, it’s important to get your hearing checked on a regular basis.
A survey conducted by Reuters concluded that 33% of seniors who wore hearing aids also benefited from using regular hearing services.
Regular Checkups are Necessary After You Start to Use Hearing Aids
Your hearing shifts as you age. When these changes happen, it’s important to have your hearing aids reprogrammed to support your latest needs. If you start to notice any changes in your hearing, immediately schedule an appointment with your hearing instrument specialist.
The Risks of Not Scheduling Your Follow up Appointments
If you don’t have any follow up appointments after getting your hearing aids, they won’t perform at their optimum levels. You will likely become frustrated with the devices and will cease to wear them. Hearing aids not only help you hear more clearly, but they can support your overall health. Hearing loss has been linked to cognitive health, depression and social isolation.
If you are in need of hearing aids and hearing aid care, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. You may also schedule regular follow up appointments with us, and feel at ease in knowing that your hearing aids are functioning at their best.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
A Guide to Sanitizing Phonak’s Roger Devices for Students in the Classroom During COVID-19
Recommended Sanitation Procedure of Roger Devices in Classrooms
As we continue to live under these uncertain conditions, Phonak has devised a sanitation plan that is specifically for COVID-19. These guidelines are meant to be practiced in classrooms, where Roger products are shared between users.
The novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus that can spread via droplets that are created when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
When multiple people are sharing any of the hand-held or body-worn devices, like the Roger mic, there’s a risk of transferring the virus from one person to another. Asymptomatic individuals can be carriers of this virus, so it’s important to sanitize in between users.
This recommendation applies to the following Roger products that are used by multiple students to reduce the risk of transmission:
Use a surface disinfectant, as directed in the instructions on the bottle. This is most effective in killing viruses. Do not use disinfectants with skin moisturizers, ointments, salves or creams.
Do not use bleach (e.g. those which contain chlorine or peroxides) and disinfectants that have ethanol. These can damage materials.
Use the following types of disinfectants:
Proper Cleaning Steps
Be aware that alcohol-based cleaning disinfectants can damage the device’s coating and electronic elements.
If you, or a loved one, are looking for new hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.