Hearing Aid Tips – Your Questions Finally Answered
Are Hearing Aids Worth It?
Yes, especially since hearing aids carry a lot of value beyond just being able to hear better again. Your overall quality of life can improve through the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids allow you to connect with loved ones and enjoy social activities much more since you won’t be struggling to hear conversations.
Studies have also shown that untreated hearing loss is associated with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Getting hearing aids can help you stay social, which can improve your mood. More importantly, though, hearing aids appear to help prevent cognitive decline and even restore some cognitive function.
Hearing loss is very isolating, and perceived isolation increases the risk factor for premature death. Seniors who frequently feel lonely (whether from hearing loss, vision loss, or the death of a partner) have a 14% higher risk for premature death due to lack of sleep, higher blood pressure, depression, and other health issues. Seniors experiencing more than one of those isolation factors have an even higher risk. Treating your hearing loss can help reduce these factors.
Do Hearing Aids Help with Tinnitus?
Yes. In fact, a 2007 survey of hearing specialists found that nearly 60% of tinnitus clients experienced some tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while nearly 25% found significant relief. Tinnitus is also often associated with hearing loss, so if you have ringing in your ears you should schedule a test with us to see if hearing aids would help.
Why Do Hearing Aids Get Feedback?
While there are a few reasons why your hearing aids might get feedback, the good news is that they are all corrected fairly easily. Here are some common reasons for feedback in your hearing aids and what you can do to stop it:
- Contact – A quick burst of feedback is usually due to bumping your hearing aid with your phone or maybe knocking it out of place when giving someone a hug. Other times it could be because of a hat or scarf getting in the way of the sound waves that travel into your ear. A quick readjustment should get your hearing aid back to normal.
- High volume – The louder you turn up your hearing aids, the more likely you are to experience feedback. If you keep finding yourself in situations where your volume is turned all the way up, you may want to make an appointment to make sure it doesn’t need to be adjusted.
- Fit – Feedback is common if your hearing aids do not fit your ears perfectly. A quick and simple solution is to take them out and reinsert them so they fit snugly inside your ear. If that doesn’t work, come back in and we’ll help you adjust it.
Can Hearing Aids Be Adjusted or Reprogrammed?
Yes, a hearing aid adjustment or reprogramming can be done easily. Just come on in and see us. Many newer models can have multiple settings for different hearing environments.
Will Hearing Aids Help with Balance?
Research is limited. However, there have been a few studies that indicate enhanced hearing does help. One study indicates that for every 10 decibels of hearing loss, the rate of falling increases by 40%. The study showed that clients performed better on a series of balance tests while they had their hearing aids turned on and performed worse on the same tests while they were off.
Why Is My Hearing Aid Not Working?
Hearing aids are technological tools, and just like computers or smartphones, there might be occasions when they stop working correctly. Many of these situations are easily fixable, such as a low battery. Every hearing aid runs on a battery. Most hearing aid batteries will last days, but this will depend on the features you’re using on a daily basis. Even rechargeable batteries eventually need to be replaced. A low battery can cause issues such as poor sound quality, weak sounds, and hearing aids that won’t turn on. In other cases, your hearing aids may have to be cleaned. Dirty hearing aids can cause feedback, muffled sounds, and even discomfort. A regular cleaning routine and yearly professional cleanings can get your hearing aids back to normal.
Which Hearing Aids Work with an iPhone or Other Smartphone?
Most hearing aids are compatible with iPhones and other smartphones. Any hearing aid that has Bluetooth connectivity capabilities can be paired with a smartphone, while there are several apps on the market that can give you even more control over your hearing aids. In addition, certain hearing aid brands are developed to work directly with iPhones and smartphones. These hearing aids can bypass the apps and give the user the ability to make true “hands-free” phone calls, as well as enjoy stereo streaming of music and TV shows. These direct connection hearing aids also do not require a separate Bluetooth device to connect with your phone, which is a requirement for some other models. Come on in and we’ll demonstrate the technology to you.
Are Hearing Aids Waterproof?
No, however there are hearing aids that are water resistant. That means that while you can’t leave your hearing aids in when you go swimming, you don’t have to worry too much if you forget to take them out in the shower or get caught in a rain storm. Keep in mind though that all hearing aids work the best under optimal conditions, which is when they’re clean and dry. Excessive water or moisture can cause damage to the electronic components inside of the hearing aids and also cause bacteria to grow on the outside, which can lead to health problems. There are a few steps you can take to keep your hearing aids dry and clean after they’ve been exposed to water, such as using a dehumidifier to remove moisture and storing your hearing aids in a dry place at night.
When Should I Clean My Hearing Aids?
Sticking to a routine of cleaning your hearing aids daily, monthly, and yearly should help you get the best results. First, you should wipe your hearing aids down and be sure to place them in their case each night before bed to protect them from humidity and pets. Beyond that, you should make sure to clean your hearing aids once per month using the techniques we’ve taught you. You should also consider coming in once a year to have your hearing aids professionally cleaned and get your hearing checked to ensure that your current hearing aids are still appropriate for your situation.
How Do I Make the Hearing Aid Batteries Last Longer?
Batteries have an expiration date, so you should always try to buy the newest pack of batteries you can find, as well as use up your older batteries first to ensure you get the most life out of them. Many hearing aid batteries are powered by zinc, so you should be aware of the handling and storage instructions concerning zinc. For instance, once you pull the activation tab on zinc batteries, they will begin to drain. However, if you wait five minutes after pulling the tab before popping them in your hearing aids, you could get up to three more days of life out of them. Be sure to remove batteries from your hearing aids when they’re not in use and keep them in a clean, dry place (not the freezer – this will actually drain the batteries faster).
What Should I Do with Used Hearing Aids?
We encourage you to avoid throwing out your old hearing aids once you no longer have any use for them. Instead, one of the best things you can do with used hearing aids is to donate them to a worthy cause. Donated hearing aids are collected by organizations like the Lions Club International and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Once collected, the hearing aids are refurbished and then given to people suffering from hearing loss who otherwise could not get a pair of hearing aids on their own. In addition to helping the less fortunate, you could also qualify for a tax write off by donating your hearing aids.