Your hearing aid purchase is an important decision and a significant investment. Once you, with the help of your hearing healthcare provider, have chosen the right instruments, it’s time to choose the best accessories to compliment and help maintain them.
Must-have hearing aid accessories
Some of the necessary accessories needed to care for and maintain your hearing aids may be provided by your hearing care provider as part of your hearing aids purchase. Others you may need to purchase separately.
All hearing aids require a power source to function. Unless your hearing aids use some type of rechargeable technology, you’re going to need an ongoing supply of disposable hearing aid batteries.
Hearing aid batteries are available in four different sizes. From smallest to largest, these are: 10, 312, 13 and 675. Your hearing aids will run on one of these specific types of batteries, and your hearing care provider will usually provide a small number of batteries to get you started. Batteries use a standardized color coding system to help ensure you get the right type.
- Size 10 = yellow package
- Size 312 = brown package
- Size 13 = orange package
- Size 675 = blue package
Always carry spare batteries with you so you’re prepared for your day and can keep your hearing aids running without interruption. Also, because batteries are an ongoing purchase, ask your provider about any battery clubs or mail order programs that can make battery purchases convenient and economical.
Regular cleaning, along with routine maintenance from your hearing care provider will keep your hearing aids working reliably and will extend their useful life. These are the most common tools to use for everyday cleaning.
- Hearing aid cleaning brush: The soft brush tip end cleans the body, faceplate or sound port of a hearing device. Some brushes have a magnetic battery removal tool to ease daily cleaning of aids.
- Wax pick or wire loop: This tool is designed to help remove wax and other debris safely from hearing aid nooks and holes.
- Multitool: These all-in-one tools are versatile because they contain both a brush and a wax loop for thorough cleaning.
- Hearing aid case: Most hearing healthcare professionals provide a protective case for hearing aids so you can carry them with you safely and store them at night when not in use.
Optional hearing aid accessories
While batteries and cleaning equipment are essentials for every hearing aid wearer, these optional accessories might make caring for your devices easier or help you get more benefit from them.
- Hearing aid dehumidifier or Dry & Store unit: If you perspire heavily, live in a humid climate or enjoy lots of outdoor activity that might expose your hearing aids to damaging moisture, these accessories can help.
Basic dehumidifiers use a desiccant to draw out moisture overnight. The desiccant will last a long time with regular reactivation. Some desiccants are contained in a soft pouch that can be reactivated in the microwave oven for about 1 minute. Others are housed in a metal tin that can be placed in an oven heated to 325° for about 30 minutes.
The more sophisticated Dry & Store unit is a small electronic device that uses UV light to dry and sanitize hearing aids overnight. These are available for purchase online or through your hearing care professional.
- Bluetooth streaming devices: Most advanced hearing devices are already Bluetooth compatible, making it easy to connect wirelessly to various devices like cell phones, MP3 players and televisions. You will probably need a relatively inexpensive external streaming device designed to work with your specific hearing aids.
Hearing aid accessories for lifestyles
There are numerous hearing aid accessories tailored to specific lifestyles. If you enjoy golf, biking or running, sweatbands will help keep perspiration from reaching delicate hearing instruments. Other accessories have clips that enable you to participate in sports or physical activities while keeping devices clean, dry and prevent them from falling out.
Other accessories like colorful charms and decals can help make wearing hearing aids more fun whether you’re a fashion-conscious adult or a child who wants to express individuality.
If you have hearing loss, the first step is to find the right treatment for you by visiting a hearing care professional. And, before purchasing any hearing aid accessory, consult with them to be sure it will work with your hearing aids.