Selecting a hearing aid that is comfortable and that suits your hearing needs is very important for establishing healthy hearing habits. While hearing aids cannot restore hearing you have lost, they do help to maintain the hearing levels you currently have. Hearing aids make soft sounds easier to hear, and these sounds will improve your ability to communicate in a variety of settings, be they one-on-one conversations, to group settings such as a family gathering. Hearing aids help you to feel engaged when you are at work, or when you want to relax on your couch watching TV or a movie.
While hearing aids are immensely helpful, they can also pose some problems—problems that are easily fixed! If you are new to your hearing aid, this guide will help troubleshoot some common problems. You might be familiar with using a hearing aid but finding yourself with a new or different model. Helping your body adjust to your new hearing aid device can be time consuming and frustrating. With a little more information on some common issues people have with hearing aid will go a long way to ensuring you and your hearing aid make a great pair.
Finding the Right Fit
One of the easiest problems to fix with hearing aids is simply how they fit within your ear. Hearing aids come in many sizes. Smaller hearing aids include Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) and Completely-in-Canal (CIC) versions. These hearing aids typically have smaller batteries, and these frequently need to be changed or recharged relatively frequently. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the battery operation of smaller devices; always ask your hearing health professional for a demonstration of how to replace the battery, or for resources about services to help maintain devices and which might include battery replacement services.
Care for Smaller Hearing Aids
Smaller hearing aids can sometimes be difficult to insert into the ear and can pose problems when it is time to remove them from your ear. If you are new to a smaller hearing aid, it is a good idea to practice holding it in your hand. Practice inserting the hearing aid in a place where the hearing aid is less likely to be lost should you drop it. You might simply sit at your dining room table, cleared of any objects, with a mirror to do so. This is safer than, for example, practicing inserting your hearing aid over your bathroom sink, where there is a bigger risk of it being lost down the drain should you accidentally drop it.
Care for Larger Hearing Aids
There can be problems with your hearing aid even if they are larger. Two larger style hearing aids include In-the-Ear (ITE) devices and behind-the-ear devices. ITE hearing aids sit within the large recess of your outer ear—called an “ear bowl.” These devices are larger in part because they have a larger battery capacity, and they work very well with people with severe hearing loss. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are typically categorized as Receiver in the ear (RITE) or receiver in the canal (RIC). These hearing aids usually have a case that hides behind the ear. From this case, a small, often clear, and very thin tube connects to a small earbud with a soft tip that sits in your ear canal.
These larger devices can take some getting used to, as we don’t often feel objects behind or in our ears. Be sure to take breaks from the devices, if you get the chance. If you are new to hearing aid devices and find that your ears are slightly irritated from the new contact, it’s okay to pop your hearing aid out if you want to relax at home, giving your ears a rest. Always be in contact with your hearing health professional if any ear pain you are experiencing lasts for an extended period of time, or if there is swelling or bruising in or around your ears. These may be signs that you need to explore other hearing aid devices that fit your ear differently.
Visit Us at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center
Whatever your hearing health needs are, there is a hearing aid to help you. It can take some time getting used to how hearing aids fit in and around your ear, and to get used to your changing hearing abilities when you do find the right fit. It is important to be aware of how the hearing aid fits you, and when and where you might be feeling pain, so that you can have an accurate and comprehensive conversation with us at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center. This, alongside keeping charged batteries on hand, will ensure that your hearing is the clearest it can be.