A hearing aid is a personal amplification device that's designed to work well to help people with the hearing problem have a normal hearing. The ears are one of the five most important sensory organs of the body. Your ears help you to perceive the world better and to also maintain balance. What affects the ears affects the entire body generally and as such can cause depression.
Over the years, professionals in the field of hearing aids are working tirelessly on better versions of the device. A lot of improvements have been made in recent times by the use of accessories and upgrades. There are a lot of hearing aids today with advanced functionality and near perfect application. These devices work to capture sounds within a radius of 12 feet. Because of these advanced hearing aid devices, you will be able to listen to conversations just like any other person. Make sure the people you are talking to are near you for more clearer or audible sounds. A clear conversation has a positive impact on the lives of the parties involved since it enhances collaboration, which is essential for success.
Hearing aids can be improved using a clip-on microphone. Most modern hearing aids are designed to support this device. The clip-on microphone helps to deliver clear sounds directly into the ear canal. Therefore, handing over one of these small devices to the person you’re communicating with will help improve communication.
Hearing aids work best with a specified radius. Therefore, it is important to get close to people using this device during a conversation. Majority of the hearing aids in the market perform best within a 12 feet radius. Hearing aids, therefore, help people hear well as long as the people they are talking to are within the 12 feet radius. Investing in hearing aid accessories can help boost the performance of your hearing aid.
In this article, we will be examining some of the popular hearing aid accessories.
What are some of the hearing aid accessories?
To boost hearing aids devices' performance so that they may serve you better and longer, you will need accessories such as:
If your hearing aid device runs on a battery that is not rechargeable, extra packs of batteries will save you big time since they will be essential in this case. When buying battery packs, go for those that can be dispensed easily and are rechargeable. Invest in extra packs of batteries especially when you’re traveling. This will save you the stress of looking for a way to recharge run-out batteries. Investing in long-lasting batteries with stable voltage is ideal when you are aiming at saving money in the long run. The most common batteries used to power hearing aids are the disposable zinc-air button battery. The zinc-air batteries usually activate themselves once you remove the seal from their backs. For better performance when you are using these batteries, wait for a minute or two after removing the seal then insert them in your hearing aid device.
Basically, larger hearing aids devices need larger batteries to run. Smaller ones need smaller batteries. There are four different-sized commonly used batteries to power or run hearing aids, depending on their sizes. These four batteries have specific colors printed on their removable tabs, which designate them. They include the following;
- Yellow batteries of size 10, with the dimensions of 5.8 mm wide by 3.6mm high. They will run your hearing aid device for 3-7 days.
- Brown batteries of size 312, with the dimensions of 7.9mm wide by 3.6mm high. They will run your hearing aid device for 3-10 days.
- Orange batteries of size 13, with the dimensions of 7.9mm wide by 5.4mm high. They will run your hearing aid device for 6-14 days.
- Blue batteries of size 675, with the dimensions of 11.6mm wide by 5.4mm high. They will run your hearing aid device for 9-20 days.
Make sure you keep the zinc-air batteries at room temperature because they tend to drain faster when they get exposed to heat and humid conditions. You should always make sure you keep them under room temperature to lower their chances of getting exposed to heat and moisture. Also, keep these batteries out of your pocket since their circuitry might be damaged when they come into contact with the metals found inside your pocket change.
It’s always a prudent idea to keep spare batteries so that you may replace those that have unexpectedly lost their charge. This way, you will be out of frustration. Zinc-air batteries are very toxic when ingested. Make sure you keep these batteries out of rich of your kids or pets since they may pose a choking risk to your young and innocent family members.
While some hearing aids run on batteries that are not rechargeable, others run on batteries that are. These batteries that are rechargeable include silver-zinc and lithium-ion (Li-on) batteries.
Many rechargeable hearing aids devices come together with a small charging station that can sit on your nightstand. To charge them, you will just need to simply flip their lids open and place them in their allotted slots at night. When you wake up the following morning, your device will be full of charge, ready to get you going throughout the next day and get you through your normal daily activities. Buying rechargeable hearing aids not only saves your wallet but also the environment. The removable hearing aid zinc-air and silver-zinc batteries may pose a health risk when swallowed by your pet or even your young, innocent little angel. They may also harm the environment by releasing very toxic chemicals which are always used to manufacture them. Because of all these possible negative effects on the environment and other family members, you should handle the removable and disposable hearing aids batteries with utmost care and not carelessly left lying around.
You should, however, know that rechargeable batteries normally decrease their charge retention over time. This means they will not hold as much charge as before after some time of service. When they begin to contain less charge, a replacement will be one of the most effective solutions to this problem, if not the most effective solution. Silver-zinc rechargeable batteries are easily replaced in the same way as the regular disposable zinc-air batteries. The Li-on batteries are slightly different from their silver-zinc counterparts. They are usually completely sealed inside the hearing aid device they power. For that reason, you will need to contact your hearing care professional when you need them replaced because of reduced charge retention. The Li-on batteries usually last as long as the devices that they run last. So, you don't have to worry about replacing your Li-on batteries because they will probably last as long as your hearing aid gives you the service. They rarely need replacement.
- Cleaning and maintenance tools
When you are buying a hearing aid, you will buy it together with its cleaning and maintenance tools. The cleaning and maintenance tools will be very essential in keeping your hearing aid device very clean. Cleanliness ensures their longevity and a consistently good performance. These essential tools include the following:
- The Cleaning brush.
This is a soft, miniature brush that will help you to polish the accessible interior parts of your hearing aid, without necessarily taking it to your hearing care professional to do the cleaning for you. Some brushes come with magnets to help you remove your battery for better cleaning access. Cleaning your hearing aid device using this tool is a very simple task that you can do yourself at home. Just make sure you do the cleaning very gently so that you don’t ruin your device or compromise its functionality. If you are afraid that you may damage your battery, then this kind of brush, which comes with a magnet to help you remove your batteries, is best for you.
- The Wax picks or wire loop.
Since the ear produces wax, it may deposit the wax to your hearing aid device and cause a reduced performance since the wax will block some of the sound quality that they produce. The wax may also destroy some electrical parts of your hearing aid. As such, you should remove these waxes through cleaning of the hearing aid using the wax wire or the wire loop. You will need to gently scrape your device very gently when you are cleaning it, making sure you don't touch its microphone or the receiver ports. Eliminating the wax that builds up with time will make sure your device has the longevity to serve you for a longer lifespan that exceeds the normal one.
- Multifunctional stylus.
These are pen-sized tools which consist of a brush and a wire loop, hence their friendly but technical name multifunctional stylus. In some models, the brush might be replaceable. This is a very effective tool that will cut down your cleaning time thus, saving you a lot of time.
- Storage case.
Keeping the hearing aid safe is of utmost importance. That is why most hearing aid professionals develop a safety case for the hearing aid. This case makes it easy to carry the hearing aid about and store them safely when not in use. Professionals understand the trauma that may accompany the hearing aid loss. This is why most hearing aid cases are designed with a clip to ensure the safety of the device. With the hearing aid protective case, there is less to worry about when using your hearing aid. It is advisable to carry your safety storage case when embarking on a journey. It is the safest way to ensure your device is protected from harsh weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances like carelessly misplacing your hearing aid.
- Vent cleaner.
This is a thin rod that's used to clean up the wax that has built up in your hearing aid vent. To clean the wax, you will insert this tool inside the vent that runs along the side of your device, and pull it back out.
When you visit your hearing care professional so that he/she may fit you with a hearing aid, he/she will show you how to use the cleaning and maintenance tools. Should one or two cleaning and maintenance tools become broken or lost, you may replace them by purchasing new ones from online stores or in stores.
These are hearing aid accessories that keep your delicate device safe from any moisture which may have a possible negative effect on your device's performance. They work by keeping your hearing aid dry for better performance. There are two types of dehumidifiers: the electric dehumidifiers and the non-electric dehumidifiers. These dehumidifiers could be used especially during the night when there is high humidity in the atmosphere. Your hearing care professional will instruct you on when you should use them.
The electric dehumidifiers help you save the cost of maintaining your hearing aid device. They've designed to blow out or blow away the moisture from inside your hearing aid since they have an electric fan to execute that very task. On the other hand, the non-electric ones use desiccants or gels to keep your hearing aid device dry and functioning well.
To use them, you will remove your batteries from your hearing aid and place them in the dehumidifier receptacle. The dehumidifier is also essential for places that are very cold and have high humid temperatures. You should know that the chargers of rechargeable hearing aids can do the same function as the dehumidifiers since they keep hearing aid devices dry while charging them at the same time. For this reason, when you have such a charger and a hearing aid, use of dehumidifier might be reduced.
- Bluetooth Streamer
In today's technology, almost all electrical machines, devices, gadgets, and appliances have Bluetooth connectivity. Even your hearing aid may have Bluetooth connectivity. Whether you want to connect your hearing aid to your car's sound system, TV, home theatre or your game console, Bluetooth streamer makes it possible.
The most common Bluetooth streamer used to connect hearing aids to different electrical appliances is the streamer remote. This is a Bluetooth transmitter that enables you to connect your hearing aid to multiple other devices with Bluetooth functionality at the same time. The streamer remote enables you to switch between different devices so that you may get the sound you need when you need it. It also lets you set the volume of your hearing aid device to the level you prefer or consider fit for your hearing.
Make sure the Bluetooth streamer is compatible with your hearing aid. When it's compatible, you will unlock some potentialities of your hearing aid that you thought was a mere day-dream. With these streamers, you can transform your hearing aid into a high-end hearing bud that transmits nothing but quality sound into your ear.
Also, you may connect your hearing aid to other Bluetooth devices when it has Bluetooth functionality which is possible with a T-coil tech. This enables it to have Bluetooth functionality. With the T-coil technology, you will be able to connect your hearing aid to a nearby induction loop when you go out to watch a movie in the theatre, sporting events or other places which may have sounds you’d love to hear well. To connect to the nearest induction loop, you will just need to switch your hearing aid to the “T” setting. Today, most public places where public events are held have magnetic fields that send sounds to nearby hearing aid devices. You only need place yourself within the radius that your hearing care professional have specified to you and you will be able to listen to various sounds transmitted to your hearing aid.
This is an accessory that helps wearers of hearing aids and hearing care professionals communicate in real-time or through a system that reviews and responds to messages, with a lot of ease without having an in-office meeting. The technology helps those two categories of people stay connected no matter the place.
This means that patients can now make follow-ups on their fittings schedules and diagnostics tests were done remotely by their doctors. Diagnostics may also be done using a smartphone or other communication devices. You should know that the telehealth services are free. Therefore, when you have minor issues with your hearing aid, you may resolve it through the help of this accessory. When there are more technical difficulties, please visit your hearing care professional.
- Smartphone Apps
Today, Smartphone that uses either the IOS or Android platform as their operating systems have apps that help people with hearing aids have very normal interactions with their smart devices. When you are in a noisy environment and you can't read the lips of your conversation partner, the voice-to-text app in your Smartphone will ease your work of communicating with your conversation partner. While talking to the other person, you may connect your hearing aid to your Smartphone, which will then receive the conversation and convert it into a readable text that you can refer to. You, therefore, won't have to tell the other person to repeat himself/herself.
Voice-to-text is one of the useful Smartphone apps that will help you while talking to your friends or colleagues. There are other apps that will warn you when you have set your hearing aid volume to dangerous higher levels. Some will also let you know how long you can listen to that dangerously high volume sound before complicating your hearing any further. In most cases, hearing loss could be prevented by limiting your device’s volume and protecting your ears at all time and at all cost. You should know the sound volume limits so that you may prevent any hearing loss.
Other Smartphone apps let you have a hearing test right on your phone. Others connect your phone to your hearing aid so that you may receive calls and answer calls by conversing with the person on the other end of the line.
When you find out that you are working in an environment that is too loud for your ear, you may ask your employer to take actions that will regulate the level of noise to conform to the set government standards for hearing safety. When you want to use your hearing aid effectively, consult your hearing care professional, who knows the exact level you should adjust your volume too. Your hearing care professional will diagnose you and find the right volume level for your ear. Don't diagnose yourself. Leave all that to the experts since you may end up worsening the situation.
There are a lot of hearing aid accessories available in the market today. Each hearing aid accessory is designed to fit different people with different lifestyles. Whether you enjoy running, hiking or biking, there are accessories designed for you. These accessories are designed to ensure that the hearing aid performs at its best and at the same time is protected from sweat and ear wax. You can’t afford to let your hearing aid fall off while enjoying your daily round of exercise.
There are other accessories designed to add beauty to your hearing aids. Accessories like the decals and colorful charms can add beauty and make the hearing aid wearing a lot more interesting. Whether you’re a fashion-loving adult or a child who wants to show some sense of belonging, these accessories provide you with the opportunity to do that.
If you notice a hearing loss, the first step to take is to visit a hearing aid professional. He is the right person to diagnose and recommend the right treatment for you. Liaise with them to make recommendations of hearing aid when you are ready to purchase a hearing aid.
Remember, not all hearing loss problem requires a hearing aid. There are different health conditions that can lead to temporal hearing loss. All that is required is treatment to restore these hearing loss. Therefore, it is not advisable to embark on self-medication for your hearing loss.