Hearing aids contain various small parts that help them function properly. These parts help hearing aids to receive and amplify sounds for individuals with hearing loss. Some of these parts are absent or modified according to the model of hearing aids that you have.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids have a soft tube in them in order to help patients with high-frequency hearing loss. This tube needs changing after a certain amount of time as part of regular maintenance. Failure to change the tube, or changing it improperly can cause various problems.
In this article, we will discuss how to fit a hearing aid tube properly and why it needs to be changed.
Purpose of the Slim Tube in BTE Hearing Aids
Behind the ear hearing aids are comparatively powerful and can help in treating moderate to severe hearing loss. Behind the ear hearing aids sit exactly as described: behind the ear. It has a custom-made earmold to conduct sound from the hearing aid. These two parts are connected with a small clear tube.
This small thin tube helps people with high-frequency hearing loss in many ways. The most notable problem it addresses is the occlusion effect.
When someone has an occlusion effect, the users hear their voices comparatively loudly. It often occurs due to ear canal plugging. These small thin tubes in BTE hearing aids deliver sound to your ears via soft domes that are pushed into your ear canals. As a result, you won’t experience the occlusion effect.
When to Change the Slim Tube in your Hearing Aid?
The slim tube looks clear and is flexible while new. However, with time the tube gets hard and yellowish. We recommend you replace the slim tube of your hearing aid after six months. You can make appointments with your audiologist at the same time and ask them to replace your hearing aid’s slim tube.
How to Fit New Tube in Hearing Aid
Changing the slim tubes is very easy. You can successfully do it at home as follows.
To change the slim tube, you will need the following equipment:
- New slim tube
- Hearing aid cleaner tool
- Needle nose pliers
How to Change the Slim Tube
Step 1: Detach the slim tube from your hearing aid and earmold. In some hearing aids, you will need to twist open the slim tube. In such cases, a hearing aid cleaning tool will come in handy. Don’t throw away the tube; it will be needed soon.
Step 2: Cut the new tube pointedly at one side.
Step 3: Push the cut side into your earmold until it reaches the bend of the slim tube. Sometimes the new tubes are too tight to insert into the earmold. In such cases, you will need to stretch the slim tube with tools like needle-nose pliers.
Step 4: Cut the extra tube that comes out of the earmold. Make it as clean as possible, so it is not noticeable.
Step 5: Now, take your old slim tube and mark the other side of your new slim tube; then cut it.
Step 6: Attach the tube with your hearing aid. You may need to use your hearing aid cleaning tool depending on your hearing aid model.
Precautions While Replacing the Tube
- Measure twice and cut once when you are changing your slim tube.
- If your earmold has two holes, always insert the tube in the upper hole.
- Make sure to push the tube steadily, without breaking it.
- The newer slim tube should be as long as the older one. If the tube is smaller, it will put a strain on your ear, and you can experience redness.
- Cutting the slim tube too long will create problems and won’t sit on your ear properly.
- Make sure to check the alignment of your earmold. Check if you are working with the right or left ear hearing aid and align it properly.
- If you are facing problems in reinstalling your slim tube, make sure to call your audiologist for proper adjustments.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Slim Tube BTE Hearing Aids
There are several advantages and disadvantages of slim tube BTE hearing aids. They are:
- Doesn’t get affected by earwax
- Best style for a directional microphone system
- Help to avoid occlusion effect
- Have longer battery life than other hearing aids
- The device is visible. Doesn’t help those who want to be discreet about their disability.
- Can cause problems if the slim tube is not fitted properly.
- Some people find it difficult to wear these hearing aids.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are some of the most powerful devices. They can help adults and children with hearing loss to hear sounds clearer and louder. Keeping hearing aid clean is very necessary for listening and taking part in conversations.
The slim tube in BTE hearing aids attracts dirt and gets hard over time. So, changing it every six months is a necessity. If you follow the directions above, you can easily change them yourself.
If you face any difficulties, consult your audiologist immediately. They can help you change and clean your hearing aids properly.