Hearing Loss and Quality of Life -part two





In my previous post on this subject, I shared my own experiences with hearing loss, as well as the importance of getting  one’s hearing tested with a licensed Doctor of Audiology and other matters.

So are you a hearing aid wearer yet? If you are-fantastic and read on. Once you have your aid- do the following:

1-Guard your hearing instrument with your life. Keep your aid in a very secure and dry place. Do not leave your aid near the bathroom or kitchen sink where water can damage the delicate circuitry and electrical functioning of the instrument.

2. When you retire for the evening or even if you are just taking a siesta in the afternoon, always put your aid in a place where you will remember where it is. There is nothing more frustrating than to leave the aid somewhere and not remember where you put it because you don’t want to waste valuable time searching for it.

3. Always be sure to clean your mold tubing with a special instrument that your audiologist can give you. Ear wax and other debris can accumulate in the tubing thus making hearing difficult. You can also clean the mold itself by using a little rubbing alcohol. I usually dip a Q-tip to do this and then dry it off with a tissue. You do not want to put a mold with wet alcohol in your ear canal. Also, if you have skin sensitivity issues or your mold starts to itch, do not hesitate to let your audiologist know that you are having problems. Chances are they will send the mold back to be remade or if you are getting fitted initially, they will make the mold as hypoallergenic as possible

4. If you live in an area where there is a lot of humidity, do consider the use of humidifiers to prevent moisture from getting into your aid.

5. Maintain an adequate supply of fresh hearing aid batteries at home. Ensure that you have a pack of batteries with you at all times when you are away from home. It is frustrating to have your aid “die” on you if you are at work or anywhere else and not have a replacement battery.

6. If you notice that something is wrong with your aid, do not attempt to fix the aid yourself. Contact and set up an appointment with your audiologist to determine exactly what is going on with your aid and obtain the necessary repairs. Do ask for a “loaner” aid in the meantime, if becomes necessary to send the aid out for repairs.

7. Have your ears checked regularly for impacted cerumen or ear wax which may impede hearing quality. Your audiologist can remove the cerumen by suction. Many audiologists do have a video otoscope which allows them to look inside the air. If you do not want an audiolosit to remove the ear wax, you can certainly have an ear-nose- and throat or ENT specialist do it, as well as a family practice or general practitioner.

8. If you can (currently) afford it, I recommend that you get a spare or second hearing aid. Relative to number #6,  you can get a” loaner” but I feel it is even better to purchase an second instrument if you have the means to do so.

9. Schedule a yearly hearing test with your audiologist to determine if there is further hearing loss.

10. Get involved and attend regular meetings at the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (www.hearingloss,org) . This organization has a vast network of state affiliate associations, as well as, local chapters and an online community on its website. You can participate in chat rooms and attend a variety of webinars on subjects that are of interest to those individuals with hearing impairments.

11. Finally, enhance your quality of life with the vast array of technologies that are out there designed to assist those with hearing impairments. The company GREAT CALL for example now manufactures a smartphone with amplification on their JITTERBUG phone. Consult your audiologist if you are interested in any of these technological assistive aids.

Medical Terminology:

Ossicles-refers to the three small bones of the middle ear-the malleus, stapes and incus.

Auditory-pertaining to the function of hearing.