When was the last time you lost your keys? Your wallet? The TV remote? What about your hearing aids?
You might think you would never lose something so necessary and valuable as your hearing aids, but many people do! One audiologist, Dr. Melissa Danchak, AuD, noted that she typically sees an average of three people every month who have lost a hearing aid. That number can vary in any given month; in one particular month, she saw eight people who had lost a device!
Just like any other small item, hearing aids can be misplaced quite easily. If you set them on a side table or counter, they can easily be brushed off and fall to the floor or into the sink. Hearing aids can even accidentally fall out of your ears, so losing one might not even involve you taking it out and setting it down somewhere. Dr. Danchak recalled one patient who found his lost hearing aid in the bottom of the dishwasher after it accidentally fell out. Remarkably, it still worked after being missing for several months!
Accidents and simple misplacements aren’t the only reason a hearing aid might go missing. Someone else might be to blame… Like a pet! In fact, Dr. Danchak reported that a family dog using the hearing aid as a chew toy is the number-one reason she hears as to why a device has gone missing. This is not only damaging to the device but can also potentially be dangerous to the pet if they swallow any part of the hearing aid. For this reason, it is especially important to be careful with your hearing aid if you have pets or if you visit anyone with a pet.
Here are a few easy tips to help prevent the loss of a hearing aid:
- If you are awake, you should be wearing your hearing aids. This reduces the risk of them being brushed off of a table or counter should you remove them and set them down.
- When you take out your hearing aids, place them in their charger or box. Even if you are only taking them out for a short time, such as for a nap, be sure to put your hearing aids in their designated spot.
- If you carry a purse or bag with you, consider putting a container just for your hearing aids in your bag. That way, if you take out your hearing aids while away from home, you will have a designated container for them. Avoid putting them in your pocket, as your hearing aids may fall out when you reach into your pocket for another item.
- Make sure your hearing aid container closes well, especially if you have a pet or small children at home. If you suspect that a child has swallowed a hearing aid battery, immediately call the National Battery Hotline at 800-498-8666.
If you do happen to lose your hearing aid – even if you were being very careful – we recommend that you check with your audiologist or hearing aid provider to see if they have another device you can borrow while you find yours.
If you believe you lost your hearing aid at home, you may want to wait up to one week before replacing your device. If you have lost your hearing aid while out and about, your chances of finding it are lower, so you probably want to replace it immediately.
If you have lost your hearing aid or if you have any other questions about how you can prevent device loss, please contact our audiology practice today. We are happy to help!