Hearing aid accessories can help your device connect to a television, keep your hearing aids clean, recharge a battery, prevent damage to your hearing aid, and prolong the life of the expensive, high-tech device you wear in your ear. Hearing aids are designed to be worn daily, so it makes sense that accessories leading to After the purchase of the device itself, there are not many things more important than accessories to allow your hearing aids to work at an optimal level. The most important accessories have to do with maintenance and prolonging the live of your device, but the accessories that either accentuate current features or provide new ones can greatly increase your hearing aid experience. The following is a description and review of some of the types of hearing aid accessories that are out there.
What are hearing aid accessories?
Hearing aid accessories are devices, purchased and installed separately from the hearing aid itself, that will help to boost the functionality of your hearing aid in some way. There are a lot of hearing aid accessories out there, some of them are manufactured by the same company that made the hearing aid while other accessories are created by third-party organizations. As long as you purchase accessories that can connect with your phone, it does not matter where you purchase them. The important thing to consider is what you will use each individual accessory to do and if it is worth the expense and time. This is a good conversation to have with your audiologist who knows your specific level of hearing loss and the way that your ears hear. It is also important to learn the capabilities of the hearing aids that you have. Many hearing aids now are equipped with Bluetooth Technology that allow them to connect directly to most other devices without the need of an accessory.
Must-have hearing aid accessories
The classic battle between “needs” and “wants” is even played out on the hearing aid field. The must-have accessories listed here are essentially the “need” category when it comes to hearing aid accessories.
All hearing aids run off of battery power, some of the batteries are rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries and some are disposable batteries. It does not matter what type of battery your hearing aid requires, if those batteries do not work you cannot use your hearing aid. This makes batteries and chargers the most important hearing aid accessory out there. If your hearing aid is rechargeable, you simply need some type of charging device to keep your hearing aids running, and some of those more advanced devices will be discussed below.
If your hearing aid takes disposable batteries, then you need an ongoing supply of batteries as well as a source to go to if that supply was to go out. All hearing aid batteries, or at least the vast majority of them, come in one of four, color-coded sizes listed below in order from smallest to largest:
- Size 10: Yellow
- Size 312: Brown
- Size 13: Orange
- Size 675: Blue
You should always carry extra batteries with you wherever you go, just in case, and make sure to never allow your supply to get too low.
- Cleaning tools
Cleaning your hearing aids, along with consistent, routine maintenance with your audiologist, will keep your hearing aids consistent and extend their working life. Your hearing aids should be cleaned daily to prevent wax and debris buildup, and while most hearing aids come equipped with a basic cleaning pick, you can also purchase professional-grade cleaning tools that include brushes, picks, and tube cleaners.
Optional hearing aid accessories
Optional accessories are those that your hearing aid can function without, but will add additional features or highlight features that are already there and cause them to work more efficiently. They can help with cleaning, connectivity, directionality, hearing speech, and many other things.
- Hearing aid dryer/dehumidifier
If you live in a hot and humid environment, workout a lot, play sports often, or perspire a lot, a hearing aid dryer can be useful. Also known as a dehumidifier, hearing aid dryers can draw out moisture from the device overnight while you are sleeping, all you have to do is put them in the dryer and turn it on.
- Bluetooth streaming devices
Some of today’s hearing aids can connect directly to other Bluetooth-enabled devices without the use of an accessory. However, even many of those devices need a streaming device for certain smartphones or other electronics that do not automatically connect to hearing aids. Make sure whatever streaming device you purchase is compatible with your brand of hearing aids.
- Assistive listening devices
These accessories can make your hearing aids work optimally in specialized listening environments like concerts, classrooms, and theaters. They connect remotely to your hearing aid and help you listen to specific sounds and voices even in the midst of large groups or festivals.
- Carrying case
If you travel for work, spend the night often in other places, swim regularly, or do any other activity where you have to remove your hearing aid on a consistent basis outside of your home, a carrying case is important. Waterproof and shatterproof cases are easy to find and can keep your hearing aid safe no matter what else you are doing.
- Rechargeable case
There are some advanced charging options out there for rechargeable hearing aids. Some brands make charging cases that also dehumidify and others just make good carrying cases that also charge your hearing aids when not in use. No matter if you travel or stay home most of the time, a good rechargeable case is a great way to recharge your hearing aid whenever it is needed.
What if my hearing aids aren’t working correctly?
If your hearing aids are not working correctly, you need to visit your audiologist to find out what the problem is. Hearing aid accessories exist to compliment your hearing aids and make them work even better than they do already, but they are not made to fix or correct problems with your hearing aids. When those problems arise do not try to fix them yourself, hearing aids are a major expense and your audiologist is there to help you fix any issues you may have.
How do I order hearing aid batteries and accessories?
The best way to order hearing aid accessories is through the audiologist who helped you through the process of purchasing your hearing aids. While you can generally find them online, an audiologist can give you advice about what type of accessory would work for you and even help get your accessory setup correctly after purchase.
Hearing aid accessories exist to boost the features and functionality of your hearing aid in some way. It is up to you and your audiologist to decide, based on your level of hearing loss, which hearing aid accessories are unimportant and which ones will boost the functions that you need boosted. Choosing accessories also has a lot to do with what is important to you with your hearing aid use. For instance, if you listen to music and watch television a lot, a good Bluetooth streaming device may be the most important accessory out there. On the other hand, if you are a runner and spend a lot of time in hot environments, then a hearing aid dryer may be what you need. The bottom line is that there are accessories for almost anything in the hearing aid world, it is simply up to you and your audiologist to figure out which ones are best for you and the way that you hear.