It’s a scary fact, but only 20 percent of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually have them. And for those who do wear hearing aids, there is perhaps nothing scarier than losing or damaging the precious devices that help you hear. In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve assembled some horror stories that will send a chill down the spine of anyone with hearing aids. Though works of fiction, these situations can easily happen to anyone – that’s why we’re also sharing tips on how to keep you from experiencing similar horrors!
A Scream in the Shower
It’s a morning just like any other. After brushing my teeth, I hop into the shower unaware of the horror that awaits me. I turn on the water, wet my hair, and apply shampoo. As my hands work their way through my hair and down my head, I feel a strange sensation on my ears. There’s something there that shouldn’t be. Then it hits me – I forgot to take my hearing aids out!
While your hearing aids can handle a minor amount of moisture, such as normal sweating, wearing them in the shower can do serious damage. Putting reminder notes in the bathroom can help you remember to remove your hearing aids before taking a bath or shower. If your hearing aids do ever get wet, turn them off and discard the batteries. Dry the hearing aids with a cloth and place them in a bowl of uncooked rice or silica gel to absorb the rest of the moisture. After 24 hours, insert new batteries and test them out. If there are any problems, consult your hearing care professional so they can make any necessary repairs.
The Midnight Massacre
Getting ready for bed, I place my hearing aids on the nightstand as usual. A couple hours later, I wake up and hear a horrible noise, like teeth gnashing on metal. I dismiss the sound as just the dog chewing on a bone and go back to sleep. But when I wake up and reach for my hearing aids, they’re gone! I assume they fell on the floor, but when I look down it’s like a murder scene. Right next to the remnants of my chewed-up hearing aids sits my guilty-looking dog.
If you have a pet at home, keeping hearing aids and their batteries out of reach is essential. It’s not just about protecting your hearing aids and avoiding the expense of having to buy new ones – if an animal swallows hearing aids or batteries, it can be hazardous to their health. You can prevent this from happening by keeping your hearing aids in a drawer, case, or cabinet inaccessible to your pets. Should something like this happen to you, make sure to take your pet to the vet immediately or call an animal poison control helpline for assistance.
The Case of the Vanishing Hearing Aids
The roller coaster car slowly chugs up the hill, the wheels screeching the whole way up. Despite how slowly it moves, my heart races faster and faster. After reaching the peak, it takes a sudden plunge and my stomach jumps into my throat. Again and again the car reaches a crest only to zip back down. Though grateful when it stops, it’s when I get off the ride that the real horror sets in – my hearing aids flew off my ears!
Given their small size and light weight, there are some situations that can dislodge your hearing aids – riding in a car with the windows open, riding a bike, or going on a roller coaster. A number of hearing aid clips or headbands can be used to secure your hearing aids to your clothing or head to keep them from disappearing. And if you go to an amusement park, it’s a good idea to bring a portable hearing aid case to hold your devices safely before going on fast, spinning, or upside-down rides.
Protecting your hearing aids
While the above stories are works of fiction, similar things have happened to many hearing aid wearers. Given how important hearing aids are to you and how you interact with the world, it’s important to know how to take care of them in any situation, no matter how scary. And should anything happen to your hearing aids, make sure to speak with your hearing care professional as soon as possible to repair or replace your hearing aids.