May is Better Hearing & Speech Month. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) originally selected the theme “Communication at Work,” but COVID-19 had other plans. ASHA has updated their messaging to feature guidance for preventing and managing communication disorders during these challenging times.
With so many Americans staying home to help keep others safe, those who use hearing aids to treat their hearing loss are putting their audiologic services on hold. Below is the guideline put together by ASHA to help those with hearing aids resolve their communication issues at home.
Maintaining Hearing Aids
Keeping your hearing aids in working order is crucial to maintaining your communication abilities.
Perform Daily Visual Checks
You’ll want to take a look at your whole hearing aid, looking for any earwax or debris that could be blocking sound from moving through properly. Pay attention to any defects such as cracks in the body or tubing of the hearing aid.
Check Your Batteries
Typically, batteries last about five to ten days, depending on your degree of loss, hearing aid model and style of battery. You can use a battery tester if you have one or simply keep track of when you put a new pair in. Over time, you will know exactly how long batteries will last.
It is important to always have spare batteries and store then in a cool, dry place.
If you have a newer rechargeable hearing aid, you should note how long your hearing aids need to sit on the cradle to get a full charge.
Clean Your Hearing Aid
Use a soft, dry cloth to clean your hearing aid, removing dirt and wax buildup from the aids, earmold, domes and tubing.
When cleaning the earmold, always remove it from the hearing aid. Once removed, the earmolds can be washed in warm water and rinsed well. Make sure they are fully dry before reattaching.
Improve Your Listening Experience at Home
Below are some key communication skills that you and your family members can implement to improve your listening experience:
- Don’t start talking until you are all in the same room
- If you are having trouble following a conversation, ask the speaker to slow down
- Face your conversation partner when speaking
- Let others know if you are having trouble understanding; don’t just pretend you are following
- Utilize closed captioning while watching movies or TV
- Take listening breaks
Together we can get through this. To learn more about improving your communication skills during Better Hearing & Speech Month, contact the experts at Victory Hearing & Balance Center today.