Have you ever worn a pair of shoes that are a size too small? Or borrowed a friend’s sunglasses just to discover they keep sliding down your nose? When it comes to clothing, getting the right size and fit is important to both our comfort and functionality of the item – and it’s the same with hearing aids! Let’s look at a few simple steps you can take to ensure your hearing aid is fitting just right!
Step 1: Identifying which hearing aid is for which ear
It is important to know which hearing aid is for your left and your right ear. This is because hearing can differ in each ear, and the hearing aid has been programmed to suit each of your ears. Not only that, but they are made to fit on a specific side. Trying to put them in without knowing which was which would be like putting your shoe on the wrong foot – frustrating and uncomfortable!
Fortunately, it’s very easy to tell which hearing aid is for which ear. Most hearing aids have a colour indicator either on the side of the device or inside the battery door. RED is for your RIGHT ear. BLUE is for your LEFT ear. Other hearing aids will have an “L” on the left ear and an “R” on the right.
Step 2: Making sure the hearing aid is sitting securely in the ear
This is important to minimise the risk of the hearing aid falling out and to ensure you are hearing well from it. For example, if your hearing aid isn’t sitting correctly in your ear canal, the sound could be aiming at your ear canal wall, rather than your eardrum and affect how clearly you can hear. How to put your hearing aid on securely depends on the hearing aid style.
For an IN-THE-EAR HEARING AID, ensure that when you are putting the hearing aid in – the removal pin is at the bottom. When putting the aid in, make sure it is in the canal far enough that it is comfortable and secure. If you hear any whistling sounds once the aid is in, this could be an indication that it is not seated correctly. This is because the sound is leaking out and causing feedback from the microphone. Rather than trying to re-orient it in your ear, it is better to take it out and start again.
For a BEHIND-THE-EAR HEARING AID, ensure that the hearing aid is sitting comfortably behind the ear, and the dome or mould is inserted into the ear canal far enough that it is comfortable and secure. If you have a dome and tail on your hearing aid, ensure that the tail is curled into the bowl of your ear. This acts as an anchor to hold the hearing aids in just the right place. And if you are having trouble, don’t hesitate to come into the clinic as we can replace the dome with a variety of sizes and help mould that tail to your ear comfortably.
Step 3: Ask for Help!
Getting used to putting on hearing aids can take some practice – but we are here to help! At Hearing Sense we offer something we call a Support Management Appointment. In this appointment, you will have one-on-one time with one of our friendly and capable staff members where you can be shown how to correctly insert your hearing aids, be able to practice putting the hearing aids until you are really confident, and go over any other management concerns you may have. We can also help you with cleaning and connecting to your mobile phone. If you feel like you could benefit from this kind of appointment, please give us a call on 8331 8047 to make time to come in for this FREE appointment.
Wearing hearing aids can be incredibly beneficial, but just like orthotics, braces or even contact lenses, the fit is really important. So take the steps to ensure your hearing aids are the perfect fit and benefit from better hearing!