Hearing Aids: For Kids and Their Parents Stephanie Cox and Laurie Greenberg
Your Hearing Aid • Battery • MTO Switch • Volume Control • Microphone(s) • Earhook • Tubing • Earmold Tip: To distinguish the right hearing aid from the left, have your audiologist attach red and blue stickers to the hearing aid or use a permanent marker to place a small red or blue dot on each aid. • Red = Right • Blue = Left
How Your Hearing Aid Works • Sounds are picked up by the hearing aid MICROPHONE. • The sound is made louder by the AMPLIFIER. • The sound passes through the TUBING and the EARMOLD and enters the ear canal. • The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, setting the tiny middle ear bones into vibration. • These vibrations are transferred into the cochlea in the inner ear where the information is sent to the brain. • Tool: How a Hearing Aid Works Animation
Taking Care of Your Hearing Aid • Batteries • Maintenance • Cleaning • Visual Inspection • Listening Checks
Batteries • Batteries can be purchased at drugstores, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. • The numbers and colors of batteries are standard across manufacturers. • Sizes and Colors • 675 – Blue • 312 – Brown • 13 – Orange • 10 – Yellow • 5 – Red
Batteries (cont’d) • Battery Life • Battery life begins as soon as the tab is removed. Replacing the tab after removing will NOT make the battery last longer. • Battery life is dependent on many factors including: • Size of battery, • Type of hearing aid, • The number of hours the hearing aid is worn, and • The severity of the hearing loss. - On average, zinc-air batteries will last 1-3 weeks. Tip: To track battery life, place the battery sticker on that day in your calendar each time you put in a fresh battery. You can then look back to see how long the battery has lasted.
Batteries (cont’d) • Always carry spare batteries with you. • Batteries should be inserted into the hearing aid with the flat side up. If the battery door will not close, don’t try to force it shut. The battery is probably in upside down. Safety Tips: • Hearing aid batteries are toxic. • If a battery is swallowed • See a doctor, and • Call the National Button Battery Hotline collect at (202) 625-3333.
Maintenance • Cleaning a BTE • Earmold • Use wax loop every day to remove any wax, dirt, etc. from all holes in the earmold. • Occasionally, the earmold can be detached from the hearing aid and soaked in soapy water and left separated from the hearing aid to dry. Tip: Wash only one earmold at a time to prevent hearing aid mix-ups - Hearing Aid • Wipe with a dry cloth • Never use cleaning solutions, alcohol, etc. on the hearing aid itself
Maintenance • Dry Aid Kit • Every night, remove the battery and leave the door open. Place the hearing aid and earmold into the dry aid kit. This pulls out extra moisture and will make the hearing aid last longer. • Keep the kit closed at all times, even when not in use. • Follow directions for reactivating after all colored crystals are gone. Tool: Maintenance Checklist (see next slide)
Maintenance Checklist • Every Day • Wipe off aid with a dry cloth • Test the battery • Check earmold opening for wax • Every Night • Store hearing aid in a dry cool place – preferably a dry-aid kit, if not the hearing aid case • Turn off the aid and open the battery compartment • Every Year • Have hearing and hearing aid checked by the audiologist • Replace plastic tubing if necessary • As Needed • Change battery • Wash earmold • Check for moisture • Replace earmold • Replace hearing aid
Maintenance • Visual Inspection • Battery check • No corrosion, dirt or rust on battery or inside battery compartment • Use battery tester every morning to ensure sufficient battery strength • Earmold • Check for wax in holes • Be sure it fits properly in the ear (no gaps) • No cracks • Tubing • Not cracked, twisted, excessively hard or discolored • Hearing Aid • No cracks in casing • Controls move easily • Be sure it is clean
Maintenance • Listening Check • Using a listening tube/stethoscope, talk into the hearing aid. While talking, listen for: • Pops • Distortion • Unwanted Noise • Press on the casing of the hearing aid while listening. The sound should not cut in and out. • Turn hearing aid on and off. Adjust the volume controls (if activated) and change between programs. There should be smooth transitions while performing these tasks. Tip: The Ling 6 Sound Test is great for listening checks. Say the sounds ah, ee, oo, ss, sh, & mm while listening.
Oops! My Hearing Aid is Not Working • Two main reasons your hearing aid might not work: • The battery is dead. Replace the battery and perform a listening check. • The earmold is clogged with wax. Use the wax loop to remove any blockage. • Your hearing aid may whistle because the earmold is not in your ear the right way. Push the earmold in all the way around. • For any other problems, have your mom or dad call your audiologist. Tool: Troubleshooting Guide for Parents
What not to do… • Don’t leave them where your dog can reach them. • Don’t take a bath or shower with your hearing aids on. Do NOT get them wet!! Tip: If it gets wet, let it dry with the battery door open. Don’t use a blow dryer on it! • Don’t let anyone play with your hearing aids. • Don’t let them get too hot or too cold. • Don’t wear them when you’re really sweaty.
Why do I have to wear my hearing aids ALL the time? • The more you wear your hearing aids, the easier it is to listen. • You can hear what all your friends are saying. (Oh yeah, and your mom and dad, too) • You might just do better in school because of them…
Frequently Asked Questions Q: Do I wear it to bed? A: Nope. Only when you’re awake. Q: Can I wear it during recess or sports? A: If you’re not too sweaty and you think they won’t fall off, go ahead. It’s probably a good idea to take them off. Q: How long does my hearing aid last? A: About 5-7 years if you take care of it. You should get your hearing checked about once a year though, just to be sure.
Resources Tool: Audiologist Information/Hearing Aid Record Use this to keep track of the important information about your child’s audiologist and hearing aids. (See next slide) Websites: www.Hearingloss.org http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/hearingaid.aspx www.betterhearing.org
Audiologist Information Name ______________________________ Address ______________________________ ______________________________ Phone Number ______________________________ Hearing Aid Record Right Left Type of Aid _________________ __________________ Manufacturer _________________ __________________ Model _________________ __________________ Serial Number _________________ __________________ Date Purchased _________________ __________________ Battery Size _________________ __________________