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New Hearing Instrument Instructions

Congratulations! You have just taken a very important step in becoming a better listener and communicator. With a little practice, your hearing aids will soon become second nature to you. There are some very important points to keep in mind:

  1. Before you leave the clinic, be sure your hearing aids are comfortable in your ears. Be sure that you are able to insert and remove them. Remember RED is for your right ear and BLUE is for your left ear.
  2. It is important to begin to wear your hearing instruments in an environment where you feel comfortable – I advise you to begin use at home. Wear them the first day for approximately one hour while watching television (a documentary or news program) or listening to radio or while conversing with another person. Begin a comfortable environment with speech. Do not wear them in a noisy environment until you first become comfortable in quiet (at home).
  3. Make sure you know how to open the battery compartment, how to put a battery in and remove it. Do you know how long you should expect the battery to last? Be sure you leave with a supply of batteries, and keep extra batteries where you can get them quickly and easily. DO NOT keep batteries in the refrigerator.
  4. Be sure that you have practiced adjusting the settings of your new hearing aid(s) if manual adjustments are available. However, not all hearing instruments have manual adjustments – some of the higher technology hearing instruments will do all of the adjustments themselves. Do you know how to adjust the volume control? Pushbutton for memory control?
  5. When you first begin to wear your new hearing aids, your own voice will sound different to you. It will take you a little practice before you feel comfortable hearing your voice and environmental sounds through your hearing aids. Some sounds may be “harsh” or “tinny”. This is actually a good sign as it signifies that your auditory system is receiving better high frequency input.
  6. Remember that your hearing aids should not get wet! Avoid taking them out or putting them in while in the bathroom as they may drop into the sink or on the floor and be damaged. Be sure to remove the hearing aids before bathing, showering, or going for a swim.
  7. Your hearing aids can be damaged by heat. Do not leave them in the sun or on a heater. Do not leave your hearing aids anywhere that your cat or dog can get them. Pets are fascinated with hearing aids and will usually chew them to pieces.
  8. Be sure to turn your hearing aids off when you are not using them. This will save the battery from draining and avoid any whistling sound. Open the battery door to be sure that the aids are off.
  9. Hair spray around your hearing aids can clog the microphone. Be sure to take out your hearing aids before taking out the hair spray!
  10. If your hearing aids whistle when you wear them, be sure you have them in your ear properly. The volume may be set too high. You may have wax built up in your ear canal. Or, did the hearing aid whistle when you put the telephone or your hand up to it. If the hearing aid whistled for no reason, see your Audiologist.
  11. If your hearing aid has a telephone switch remember to use it while on the telephone! If you have no telephone switch, be sure you know how to hold the telephone to avoid whistling.
  12. Keep your hearing aids clean and in proper working order by removing the wax from them when you take them out. Be sure you know how to use the cleaning tools that came with your hearing aid. Cleaning of your hearing instruments should be done daily.
  13. Remember that your Audiologist is there to help you with any difficulties. Call or stop by. We want you to be a successful hearing aid user.

If you have been given any accessories to use with your hearing instrument(s) please refer to that sheet of instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Certain styles of hearing aids operate differently from others in terms of amplification power, customizable switches, wireless capability, and whether they are best suited for the activity level and lifestyle of the user. Smaller styles tend to be less visible but might lack the customizable options or amplification power that a larger style has, thus making them more useful for those with a mild hearing loss, while larger styles might be better suited for individuals who need the power and would like to be able to adjust their hearing aids in different environments. Different types of hearing aids will also use different sizes of batteries, allowing larger units to last longer while smaller units require greater battery use.
Leading consumer advocacy groups state that nearly two-thirds of hearing aids are incorrectly fit, leading to disuse. Put simply, hearing aid types best suited to the lifestyle of one individual won’t necessarily work very well for another individual — and it’s important for the hearing care provider to know what’s going to fit your lifestyle most comfortably. We all have different activity levels, and we all enjoy pursuing different forms of entertainment; getting your hearing aids fit by an experienced hearing care professional who knows the technology well is the best way to ensure that you’re wearing the right hearing system for you.
Some hearing aid types may be better than others at certain things. For example, larger units, like a BTE system, will have greater amplification capability than an invisible-in-the-canal unit simply because the size of the speaker in the hearing aid does not allow such a small device to be as powerful as a large device. As previously stated, getting your hearing aids fit by an experienced hearing care professional who knows the technology well is the best way to ensure that you’re wearing the right hearing system for you.
Although advancements in technology have made hearing aids as clear sounding as possible, certain hearing aids do create a “plugged up” feeling when worn because they seal around the entire ear canal. Some hearing aid styles, like the RIC type, have open earmolds that allow regular sounds to pass through.