How can I describe the sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach after losing a hearing aid? If you’re a hearing aid wearer, I’m sure you can imagine that feeling, especially if you’ve experienced such a loss before.
My hearing aids are a part of me. They’re so small and light that I often forget I am even wearing them. They are a daily necessity.”
I recently went to a theme park with my best friend. Each time we boarded a roller coaster, I removed my hearing aids, and put them in my pocket for safety. I suppose the excitement of the rides got the better of me in the end, because I eventually forgot to take my aids out. At the end of our final thrilling ride, I reached up to my ears only to realize that one of my hearing aids was gone!
I like to tell my clients that no one ever plans to lose a hearing aid, but accidents like mine happen every day. Fortunately, my hearing aid was covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. To protect your investment, there are some things you should consider:
- Does your hearing aid have a manufacturer’s warranty? Does it cover loss and damage? Is there a charge to replace a lost or damaged aid under the warranty? Is the warranty renewable or extendable? Speak to your hearing provider for details.
- If you haven’t been supplied with a manufacturer’s warranty, can you put the hearing aid on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance? Does it cover loss/damage? Is there a deductible?
- Do you have specialty hearing aid insurance, like that offered by ESCO?
- What is the cost to replace your aid without insurance or warranty? You should consider the out-of-pocket replacement cost when deciding whether to keep the warranty or take out insurance on your aids.
There are a few common ways that hearing aids get lost or destroyed, and we can help prevent losing our aids if we are aware of these dangers and take precautions. They include:
- Pets – Dogs and cats love the smells and sounds of hearing aids. Make sure to turn off your hearing aids when not in use, and keep your them in a cabinet or drawer where curious pets cannot make a snack out of them.
- Small Children – Small children are excellent at misplacing precious gadgets. They are also prone to chewing and swallowing small objects. Make sure if you wear hearing aids, put them away where small children do not have access to them.
- Tight Spaces – Mechanics, plumbers, gardeners and other hands-on laborers should take extra care when working around wires, machine parts, tree branches, etc. Before putting your head in a tight space, take your hearing aids out and put them in a safe place.
- Misplacement – Always remember to place your hearing aids in a safe carrying case when removing them. Always store your hearing aids in the same location in your home.
- Fast moving vehicles – This includes convertible cars, motorcycles and yes, roller coasters. Most hearing aids fit rather securely, and this can give us a false sense of confidence. Very strong winds produced by fast moving vehicles can take the hearing aid right out of your ear, especially on the open fit over-the-ear hearing aid models. Make sure to take them out and put them in a safe carrying case when engaging in these activities.
- Clothing – Be careful when removing shirts, sweaters, and other tops. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are especially vulnerable to being knocked off when removing an article of clothing! Also, check your pockets carefully for small holes before placing a hearing aid in a pocket. This is a very common way of losing hearing aids.
- Traveling – When you’re away from home everything changes. Try to bring a special container to place your hearing aids in at night. Also, double check your ears (to make sure your hearing aids are still there) after each major activity, before moving on to your next adventure!
For those of you who love numbers, ESCO put together the following infographic for us to share with our users. Behold:
Common causes of hearing aid loss and damage
So, despite our best intentions and utmost care, sometimes hearing aids can get lost anyway. What do you do when your hearing aid gets lost?
- Report the lost hearing aid to nearby establishments. Leave your contact information including name, phone number and description of the hearing aid that was lost. You may be pleasantly surprised when it gets found and returned to you.
- If your hearing aid was lost in the home, look around thoroughly and be patient. Sometimes, the hearing aid will turn up during a longer search or with more eyes on the job. If it hasn’t turned up in 1 week, it’s time to report it.
- Report the missing hearing aid to your hearing healthcare provider. They will help you get a replacement either under your hearing aid warranty or insurance policy.
Hopefully, by taking the proper precautions, you can avoid the experience of losing a hearing aid. If you do lose a hearing aid, it is important to take the steps necessary to replace it to ensure you continue to hear your world.
Last modified: September 12, 2016