You’re supposed to take good care of hearing aids, right? A technological marvel, they are and.. expensive. But, they’re vulnerable! Here’s some common places that they’re used or stored but are potential pitfalls that can mean disaster for your hearing device.
I’m notorious for using hearing aids for a LONG time. My first one lasted NINE years. Another one lasted TEN. With my track record, you would think I was quite fastidious in their care, using the dri-n-store, removing the battery each night and keeping it in a little box lovingly wrapped in cloth.
But truthfully, I’m no better than anyone else at taking care of it.
I’ve chucked it all over the place: in the front pocket of my beach bag, my purse, my wallet, my shoe.
I’ve sat in hot tubs with it, accidentally jumped into showers and pools still wearing it, I’ve even jogged for miles with it in my HAND. I mean, for those of us who have worn hearing aids for the majority of our lives, they basically run on spit and lucky charms with all the sketch sitches they’ve been dragged through.
So despite all the warnings for newbies, your hearing aid could probably somehow survive should a minor mishap occur.
But over the years, there have been a number of scenarios which caused many a near-hearing-aid-death-experience. And let’s face it, dealing with loaner hearing aids, extra trips to the audiologist’s office is quite frankly, a pain. Or worse, you may be faced with replacing it altogether. Time (and money) is precious! I want to spare others this heartache.
So, in the spirit of preparing for the worst (yes, yes, while hoping for the best), I thought I’d shed some light on these locales that seem innocent enough, but are actually sand monsters lying in wait to gobble them up like Boba Fett.
On the nightstand
As I mentioned in a previous post, in a strong earthquake, those hearing aids can go flying. Even if you don’t live in earthquake country, a nightstand is the Bermuda Triangle for a hearing aid. Lot’s of weird factors can make them disappear. I like to put them in a box or container.
Unattended within an animal’s reach
I can’t tell you how many people have told me their hearing aid was eaten by their dog. VERY hard to recover anything that’s been chewed through (or digested) I would imagine. Cats are also unpredictable passive-aggressives that will casually play air hockey with it or bury them in the litter box. Who knows where it will end up.
On a roller coaster
Some people really actually take extra precautions at amusement parks because wind, gravity and g-force (?) are not your friend here. With all the jerks and twists, your head can go one way and your hearing aid the other. Good luck finding it in the lake below.
Next to a cup of orange juice
Ask me how I know. I found it sitting in a little orange puddle and tried to dry it out as best I could, but even the static sounded sticky. I did get it back weeks later. I assume they put it through a mini car wash.
In the ocean
Anyone who’s been caught in a wave will tell you it’s like being in a washing machine. So if your hearing aid flies off while you’re dipping your toes in a vast body of water filled with plant and sea life – together the force and pressure of a wave washing it away, I think it’s safe to say it may be sleeping with the fish (or eaten as a snack).
Anyplace with the potential for a snowball fight
The Wisconsinian in our home is vocal about this one and it makes perfect sense. Getting pummeled with the equivalent of freezing, wet fruit is bound to cause some damage. At least invest in some neon colored ear molds for the winter. You’ll have a chance at finding them in the snow.
On the back of the toilet
Some people might put it there as they jump in the shower. Risky business. One false move and it’s on its way to the fish party too.
In the street
I’d advocate for skateboarders to tape ‘em on or leave ‘em home. It won’t do well with track marks, gravel dents or smashed to smithereens, nope.
The kitchen counter
Two words: garbage disposal
The dance floor
If you’re like me, it’s been quite awhile since I went out for a boogie night, but I’m just saying it’s a hazard. I recall in college teasing a friend flipping it off his ear again and again (yes what a nice friend!) when suddenly it popped off the tube and onto the dance floor. A quickly calculated split second adrenaline dive down rescued it, but jeez! Risked my life practically.
So kids, keep those hearing aids outta harm’s way! Be safe!
After years of use, we get cocky with ’em. Skirt the edge of insanity, really.
So my hope is that you can benefit from my experience and will up your efforts accordingly.
What’s the most dangerous place you’ve had yours?