Do hearing aids come with any sort of guarantee? There is often a significant financial decision to make when pursuing better hearing. There are also many brands, styles, clinicians, and stores to purchase them from. With so many options, it can be hard to know if you have chosen the right option for you.
According to www.dictionary.com, a guarantee is a promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit, etc., or that it will perform satisfactorily for a given length of time. In the better hearing industry, you will often hear the terms “trial period” and “warranty.” Both of these things mean a guarantee.
As an audiologist, I can not guarantee that your hearing aids will meet all of your expectations. Some people expect hearing aids to restore their hearing back to “normal” and this is simply not possible. However, I can guarantee that we will do everything possible to ensure they are working at an optimal level for each individual.
Every ear and person is unique. What works for one person may not meet the needs of another. Simply put, somebody may need to try multiple options before they find their perfect fit. This makes the trial period important. During your trial period, it is important to work with your provider to ensure your new devices are meeting your needs. If not, you can always return the devices for a refund. Trial period length will vary by state but Minnesota requires a 45-day window.
Manufacturing companies provide a warranty as a way to guarantee your devices stay in top working order. Warranty periods are often one to three years.
There are many safe guards in place to ensure you will achieve improved hearing, and maintain improved hearing with your new devices. If you question your progress, you should reach out to your hearing professional. Our Doctors of Audiology can be reached at (651) 888-7800.
Hooray! It’s finally warm and green outside but with that comes some other unpleasant things like humidity (especially up here in Minnesota)! If you wear hearing aids, you might want to take a minute and review your maintenance routine to make sure you’re protecting your valuable devices that connect you with all of the wonderful sounds of summer.
Summertime brings an uptick in moisture.This can affect how hearing aids function, particularly behind-the-ear styles. Humidity, rain and perspiration can all affect hearing aids, especially the precious microphone which is generally the most exposed part of the aid. You also want to make sure you don’t jump into the pool or lake with your devices either. Most hearing aid companies have now found ways to coat new technology with moisture-proof coating but this will not prevent moisture from filling the space in the microphones, and in turn, blocking the channel for sound to get into the device.
How do you protect your hearing aids from moisture then? You will need to remove your hearing aids at times. Hearing aids are unfortunately not ready to go swimming or water-skiing with you. For the times where you’ll be exposed to humidity and perspiration, but still need your hearing aids for communication (like on the golf course), a few extra maintenance steps can really help.
Pay attention to the area where your microphones are. Run your cleaning brush across them at the end of the day to brush away any debris or moisture that might have settled there throughout the day. You can also use a dri-aid kit at night. A dri-aid kit is a container that will absorb moisture from the devices. Ask your audiologist about both of these things if you haven’t been shown this already.
Otherwise, go out and enjoy your summer! A few mindful moments of maintenance can make a big difference in long-term device performance. A last parting consideration involves summertime noise exposure. When around loud noise, make sure you aren’t wearing your hearing aids, and instead use hearing protection. This goes for when you mow the lawn or shoot off those 4th of July fireworks!
Contact our office at (651) 888-7888 if you have any questions!
How to get the most out of your hearing aid batteries
One of the most important parts of your hearing aid is the battery! Did you know that some simple steps can help prolong the life of your hearing aid batteries?
Some background on hearing aid batteries:
Hearing aid batteries are zinc-air and come in 4 sizes (yellow10, brown312, orange13, or blue675). All zinc-air batteries will come with a sticker-like tab on the back. Therefore, you will need to remove the tab prior to using the battery. This tab prevents air from activating the zinc chemical until you need it. Hearing aid batteries are sensitive to extreme temperatures and moisture. If hearing aid batteries touch other metal or other batteries, this can cause them to short out.
How to get the most of your hearing aid batteries:
-Let battery sit un-tabbed one to five minutes prior to using. This allows the power to ramp up before use.
-Store batteries at room temperature in their original packaging.
-Do not store batteries in humid or moist environments.
-Open the battery door of your hearing aid when it is not in use to extend the life of the battery.
Some other tips that can help:
-Keeping track of your battery usage can help you spot changes to the cycle.
-Dispose of dead batteries immediately to avoid mix-ups. You can throw batteries in the trash or take them to a local recycling center.
-Keep spare batteries on you. Your hearing aid batteries are most likely to go out when you are going about your normal day.
Don’t forget that batteries are not safe to be ingested. Keep them out of reach of small children, vulnerable adults, and pets. If batteries are swallowed, see a doctor immediately and call the National Button Battery Hotline at (202) 625-3333.
Additionally, if these tips and tricks did not help improve the performance of your devices, please call to visit with our professionals today at (651) 888-7800.
One question Audiologists always get asked about hearing aids is: How long do they last? The short answer is: it depends. The biggest factor in how long a hearing aid lasts is how well they are maintained. That hearing aid maintenance starts at home with some easy steps to clean hearing aids. You should clean hearing aids every day if you want them to last for the long run.
How to clean a hearing aid:
Remove any wax from the surface of the hearing aids
Start by inspecting the tip that goes into your ear. Brush or wipe away any wax that you can visually see. Do not use chemicals or water on your hearing aid. If you have a hard shell, wipe the hearing aid with a dry cloth. If you have a soft, rubber tip, brush wax away.
Inspect the microphone area for anything that might be plugging it
If you don’t know where your microphones are, ask your hearing professional at your next visit. On a behind-the-ear hearing aid, the microphones are located on the part that sits above your ear. There are usually 2 ports on the very top of the instrument. In an in-the-ear hearing aid, the microphone is often near the battery door. You can run your brush across the microphones to remove any debris.
Inspect your sound port or wax guard
Some hearing aids have a small wax guard or wax trap covering the sound port where the sound comes out of the hearing aid. If these become plugged with wax, this can cause the hearing aid to malfunction. Replace your wax trap when necessary. Some instruments will not have this, and instead have a tubing extending from the instrument. If this is the case, you can use your cleaning tools to pick out the wax. Always remember that if you are unsure which you have, you can ask your hearing professional at the next visit.
If you have a vent in your instrument, run a vent cleaning tool through it.
If you have a custom hearing aid or earmold, there is a good chance it has a vent, or air passage. You can run a thin filament through this space to push any wax out.
You should be cleaning your hearing aids regularly. You should also do your best to protect your instruments from moisture. There are dri-aid kits or jars that you can store your hearing aids in to help absorb moisture that might have gotten into the devices. Your audiologist can help you to purchase one of these, or you can look into purchasing one off amazon. These can aid in keeping the hearing aids maintained well. If you have any further questions about hearing aid maintenance, contact us at (651) 888-7888.