No mater how well you take care of your hearing aids, accidents and disasters can happen. What may be a minor inconvenience when you are at home can be a major disaster if you are traveling on spring break. Here are some things that can go wrong and what you should do if they happen:
Lost Hearing Aid
Any time you go in-line skating, biking, skiing or any other activity where you wear a helmet, you run the risk of accidently dislodging your hearing aid. Maybe you are sitting on the beach wearing a headband to keep your hair back or wearing a sweatband on the tennis court; either way you run the risk of losing a hearing aid outside. If your hearing loss is profound, you will notice right away.
If you realize your hearing aid is missing, stop immediately and ask everyone around you to stop as well. If you have just taken off a helmet, scarf or other headgear, be sure to check your hair and clothing. Gently start at the top of your head and work down. Often you will find the device hung in your hair or stuck in the collar of your shirt.
If you don’t find your hearing aid on your body, check the ground immediately around you and ask everyone around you to check as well.
Avoiding this Disaster
Always check your hearing aid position anytime you remove helmets, headbands, sweatbands and other headgear.
You can speak to your hearing care professional about clips to secure your hearing aid to your clothing if you participate in active sports.
Hearing Aid Gets Wet
Today’s hearing aids are so small people you don’t know well probably don’t realize you wear hearing aids. This means you are at risk of being tossed into the pool or ocean by someone who thinks it is innocent horseplay. Far from innocent, it can be incredibly detrimental to your hearing aids.
If your hearing aids get wet, remove them immediately and towel dry them. Breathe deep. Next get to a safe place where you can open the hearing aid and remove the batteries. Set your hearing aids in their drying chamber overnight with the battery compartment open. In the morning, insert new batteries. If this doesn’t work, you will need to find a hearing care provider.
Avoiding this Disaster
If you are going to the pool or beach, it is a good idea to take along a case to store your hearing aids. Make sure that the case goes into your bag in a zippered compartment. Nothing is worse than putting your hearing aids in a case and then having the case fall out of your bag.
Before you get in the pool, river, lake or ocean, take a second to reach up and make sure you remembered to remove your hearing aids. This may seem like common sense, but can be overlooked when you’re out and about.
Hearing Aid Stops Working
This disaster is all about maintenance.
If your hearing aids are acting “funny,” visit the hearing care practitioner before you take your trip. If you have an extra set of earmolds, ask your professional for a “loaner” to use during the trip.
If this isn’t possible, ask your audiologist for a copy of your hearing aid settings. If disaster strikes and you are far from home, this bit of information will help the local hearing healthcare provider help you.
Spring is a great time to get outdoors and get away. Don’t let fear of a hearing aid disaster keep you back. Just take extra precautions to be prepared!