Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are a valuable piece of medical equipment for anyone who has suffered a hearing loss of any degree. They can allow you to hear high-pitched sounds that you might otherwise miss and may also allow you to hear conversations more clearly.
Hearing aids are not just convenient, but they can also be a matter of safety; if you are driving and cannot hear another car horn or siren, you put yourself at risk. The same is true in everyday life; you may miss a smoke alarm, someone yelling a warning to you as you’re walking, and so on. If it’s been recommended that you wear hearing aids, note a few important questions to ask your doctor about their use and care so you know they’ll work for you.
1. Ask when they should be removed.
It’s typically not recommended that you wear your hearing aids when you go to sleep, as they could cause discomfort in the ear canal. You may also be recommended to turn them off at night so that you preserve the battery life.
It’s also good to ask your doctor if your hearing aids are waterproof or water resistant. There may be no reason for you to wear them in the shower, but if you enjoy swimming, even if you don’t submerge in the water, you may be recommended to remove the hearing aids to keep them dry and safe.
2. Note how they should be cleaned.
Even if you keep your ears very clean, hearing aids usually still get a coating of earwax and other bacteria and germs on them, and they need to be cleaned regularly. Typically a hearing aid is best cleaned with a soft cloth, although you might use a very soft brush to clean stubborn debris. Your doctor might recommend a type of brush to use for your hearing aids; this might be one designed for the pieces in particular, or it may mean a very soft, clean toothbrush.
3. Always ask about beeping, lights, and other signals.
Each brand and model of hearing aid is different in how they signal the user for low batteries, a change in volume, if the batteries are working, and so on. A hearing aid might have a green light for when batteries are installed correctly and a red light for when they’re low. Others might beep when the batteries get low. However your brand of hearing aids work, be sure you ask your doctor what each of those signals mean so you can ensure the pieces are working as they should.