Getting your hearing device checked by an audiologist might be difficult right now. But you can still get help!
If you wear hearing aids or cochlear implants, you might be unsure about getting help during lockdown. Don’t worry – your audiologist can still help with any problems you have.
Here are some useful questions and answers on what help you can get for your hearing devices at the moment.
Looking after your devices
Q: My hearing device isn’t working. Can I try to fix it at home?
A: There are easy things you can do to keep your hearing device in good condition. You can also do some repairs yourself.
- Don’t get your devices wet
You should never place your hearing device in water, even if it is water resistant.
If you drop your device in water, dry it properly. Then put it in a pot with a drying tablet from your care kit. This is a special moisture-absorbing tablet. Leave it overnight. If you don’t have drying tablets you can put your device in dry uncooked rice.
Don’t put your device anywhere warm like on a radiator as heat could damage it.
- Wash your earmoulds regularly
The earmould part of your hearing aid is important. If it gets blocked then sound cannot get to your ear very well.
Check your moulds daily to make sure nothing is blocking the tube. If there is, gently pull the soft tubing from the earmould off the hard plastic tube of the hearing aid. Then wash the mould in warm soapy water. Let the earmoulds dry overnight. You can use the earmould puffer in your care kit to blow water out of the tubing too.
- Change the earmould tubing
Over time, earmould tubes can get hard. You can get lots of replacement tubing from your audiologist. Find out how to change the tubing yourself here!
Q: Can I still get spare parts?
A: Audiologists will send spare parts to you in the post. This includes batteries, tubing, leads, coils etc. Let your audiologist know what you need.
Q: Could clinics run out of batteries?
A: The NHS has told us there are lots of batteries and no problems ordering new ones. Get in touch with your audiologist to let them know you need batteries. They will post them to you.
If you run out and can’t get batteries like normal, you can buy them from chemists, shops that provide hearing aids or opticians.
Q: What is happening with ear moulds? Can I order new ones?
A: If earmoulds split or don’t fit properly sound can escape causing feedback (a whistling sound). If this happens, you might need new earmoulds. Taking impressions of your ear for new earmoulds may not be possible right now. However, companies that make them are using old ear impressions to make new, slightly bigger moulds. They then post these to you.
Your audiologist may ask you to post one of your earmoulds to them at a time (so that you can still wear the other hearing aid). They can then make new ones using these! The new ones might not be perfect but can help if you can’t see your audiologist.
Contacting your Audiologist
Q: I think I need an audiology appointment. Can I get one?
A: Audiology and cochlear implant services still provide repairs, new earmoulds and batteries. They can also give you advice on email or video call.
Most audiologists can’t provide face to face appointments. If it is urgent they will check if it is safe to see you. Do not go to the audiology clinic unless you have spoken to your audiologist first and they have asked you to go.
Q: My hearing aids were due to be changed. What will happen now?
A: Audiologists are making sure people who need help will get appointments as soon as they open again.
If you are having a problem with your hearing device, tell your audiologist. They can help you or book you an appointment for when they open.
Q: I’ve been offered an emergency appointment but I’m scared to go to the hospital. Should I go? What should I expect?
A: Hospitals can feel scary at the moment. But people working there are doing everything they can to make sure everyone is safe.
Your audiologist won’t see you unless it is safe. They will make sure everything is clean and might wear protective equipment like masks. They may ask you to wear a mask too.
Everybody wearing masks can be frightening. It also makes it harder to communicate. Remember the mask is there to protect you.
You can download our communication support wallet card and fill it in before you go to the hospital. You can then show it to staff to let them know you are deaf and what you need them to do to make communication easier for you. Check it out here.
You can find out more about hearing aids here.