Proper Use of Hearing Aids in Elderly People
Hearing loss has been a cause of concern for many people. In the US, approximately one out of every eight people suffers from hearing loss.
That means around 13% of the population is diagnosed with hearing loss, or 30 million people. Most of them are 12 years old or more (check citation no#1). Also, approximately 2% of adults aged from 45 to 54 have trouble hearing properly. These numbers rise to 8.5% for those adults who are between 55 to 64 years of age.
We can see that hearing impairment is pretty common among elders. This is why hearing aids are essential for them. This is especially applicable if they suffer from mild or moderate hearing loss. To know how to use hearing aids properly, elders must know the appropriate use and the maintenance tips of these delicate devices.
In this article, we’ll be discussing all the ways elders can properly use their hearing devices.
Tips to Look After Your Hearing Aids
When you first get the device, you will feel pretty excited when you start hearing again. However, as time passes, you’ll begin to notice that your hearing device is not giving you the support it used to.
That’s primarily because of the accumulation of debris and moisture in your device. This is the cause of your device’s poor performance.
So, it’s essential that you properly use and look after your hearing device to ensure you get the most out of the benefits of hearing aid use as well. We have listed the top eight tips that you can follow to keep your hearing aids as good as new.
- Always be gentle with your device and handle it properly.
- Be sure to wash your hands before you start handling these delicate devices.
- With every hearing device, you’ll be provided with a robust case. After you take your hearing aids out, make sure to put them inside the case. Always store them in a safe, dry place, away from pets and children.
- Always switch off your device when you’re not using them.
- Once in a while, clean your device’s battery contacts and remove any visible debris or earwax with a clean and neat cloth.
- Change the wax guards or the filters to remove the dirt and wax. This may be the reason for the deteriorating sound quality.
- Schedule checkups with your audiologist for professional cleaning.
- Never wear your hearing devices while swimming, in the shower, or when you’re using hair spray or hairdryer.
Check out this collection of all the best hearing aids for elderly.
If you follow these eight golden tips, then you’ll be using your hearing devices properly. This will keep your devices in excellent shape.
How to Clean and Keep Your Hearing Device Well-maintained?
Having read the statements made above, we now know the tips and tricks that will keep the device in good working condition.
However, how can we keep these delicate devices clean in the first place? Well, it’s pretty straightforward. Just follow these steps, and you’ll be able to keep your hearing devices in good condition.
Pre-Cleaning Methods and Precautions
Step-1: Grab yourself the right kind of tools. Both a brush and a wax pick are ideal at-home cleaning tools. With the help of these two, you’ll be gently removing all the wax out.
Step-2: Wash your hands before you start cleaning your devices. If you touch it with unclean hands, there is a possibility of there being larger issues later on.
Step-3: Always keep your devices at average temperatures. Even when cleaning your device, make sure that the procedure is being done at room temperature.
Cleaning Methods for BTE (Behind the Ear) Hearing Aids
While cleaning your BTE device, make sure to follow these instructions.
Step-1: Always examine the device for any signs of debris. If you do anything, gently remove it with a dry cloth or a soft textured brush.
- Detach the earmold from its hook.
- Wipe them gently with warm soapy water (Clean them at least once a week).
- Give time for the earmold to dry overnight. Never use chemicals or alcohol as a means of cleaning.
Step-3: You can make use of a bulb blower to dry off any water that’s present in your earmold tube. After using the bulb blower, don’t instantly attach it to the hearing device. Let it dry off entirely overnight.
Cleaning Method for ITE (In the Ear) hearing aids
When cleaning your ITE device, make sure you follow these instructions.
Step-1: Your main focus should be on the hearing aid’s openings, including the microphone ports. For this, you’ll need to use a toothbrush (soft-bristle) to clean all the wax.
Step-2: Afterward, use a hook or a wax pick to clear out any remaining wax that didn’t come out with the brush.
Step-3: Finally, wipe the entire device with a clean, dry cloth. This will help wipe off any remaining debris in the case of your hearing aid.
Things You Should Never Do With Your Hearing Aids
In this section, you’ll get to know some of the things that you should never do with your hearing aids. These actions might compromise the functioning ability of your hearing devices.
- Never go to sleep with your hearing aid on.
- Never store the batteries of your hearing device in the refrigerator.
- Never keep the batteries inside the device for too long.
- Never let others use your device.
- Never repair the devices on your own (Yes, you can clean them but don’t repair them).
- Never let your hearing device get wet.
These are a few of the DON’Ts that you need to follow to use your device properly.
So, to properly use your device, you need to be aware of all the ins and outs of maintaining them properly. These are delicate devices and improper use might entirely damage your hearing device.
Therefore, to avoid any such occurrence, you must know the precautions and ways for making the proper use of these devices.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can you wear hearing aids with glasses?
Ans: It is possible to wear hearing aids with eyeglasses if the hearing aid is a Bluetooth enabled pair that is Bluetooth compatible, or if the hearing aid is designed to be paired with a smartphone.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Identifying infants with hearing loss - the United States, 1999-2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 59(8): 220-223.
- Blackwell DL, Lucas JW, Clarke TC. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2012 (PDF). National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(260). 2014.
PDF - https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_260.pdf