Hearing aids accessories and supplies

First off, let us clarify that these aren’t ‘accessories’ in the traditional sense of the word. These items are essential to owning hearing aids, however, they come as additional tools that help your hearing aids work at their highest possible level. 

Must-have accessories for hearing aids

While hearing aids themselves are essential, there is a wide range of accessories available that can enhance their functionality and user experience. These accessories are designed to address specific needs and challenges faced by individuals with hearing loss. From improved connectivity options to better comfort and maintenance, hearing aid accessories offer additional features that can greatly benefit users.

Different types of hearing aid batteries

It’s not exactly accurate to call hearing aid batteries accessories – they’re absolutely essential. Unless you have rechargeable hearing aids, you’ll need a steady supply of disposable button batteries to keep your hearing aids running. 

Hearing aids are powered by batteries, and there are several types available on the market. The most common types include zinc-air, silver-zinc, and lithium-ion batteries.

  • Zinc-air batteries are the most widely used and are known for their long-lasting power.
  • Silver-zinc batteries offer a higher energy density, making them suitable for more advanced hearing aids.
  • Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and provide a convenient and environmentally friendly option.

If you have a rechargeable hearing aid, you won’t need to worry about batteries, but you will need to include a charging port among your hearing aid accessories. In fact, rechargeable hearing aid batteries have gained popularity in recent years due to their convenience and cost-effectiveness. These batteries can be recharged using a compatible charger, eliminating the need for frequent battery replacements. They are particularly beneficial for individuals with dexterity issues or those who prefer a more sustainable option. Rechargeable batteries also tend to have a longer lifespan, reducing the overall cost of hearing aid ownership.

A certified hearing care expert will inform you about the appropriate hearing aid battery type and might even supply you with some initial extras. It's a good practice to keep backup batteries on hand to ensure your hearing aid remains operational. Additional batteries are available at hearing health centers, drugstores, and many supermarkets stocking regular batteries. Alternatively, consider joining online battery subscription services that deliver batteries to your doorstep monthly.

Cleaning tools and solutions for hearing aids

Regular cleaning and maintenance of hearing aids are essential for optimal performance and longevity. Ear wax, moisture, and debris can accumulate in and around the hearing aids, affecting their functionality and sound quality. Proper cleaning helps prevent clogs, reduces the risk of infections, and ensures that the hearing aids continue to deliver clear and natural sound.

To clean hearing aids effectively, there are several tools and solutions available. These include:

  • Soft brushes or cleaning loops to remove debris from the microphone and receiver openings.
  • Cleaning wipes or sprays specifically designed for hearing aids to sanitize the surfaces and remove ear wax buildup.
  • It is important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive moisture that may damage the hearing aids.

Drying kits and hearing aid dehumidifiers

Moisture is a common enemy of hearing aids, as it can cause corrosion and damage sensitive components. Drying kits and dehumidifiers are essential accessories that help remove moisture and prolong the lifespan of the devices. These accessories often use desiccant beads or electronic drying systems to absorb moisture from the hearing aids overnight. Some dehumidifiers even have UV light disinfection capabilities to further ensure cleanliness.

Protective hearing aid cases and covers

Protective cases and covers offer an extra layer of protection for hearing aids when they are not in use. These accessories help shield the devices from accidental drops, dust, and moisture. Hard-shell cases with foam padding provide maximum protection, while soft pouches are more compact and convenient for everyday use. Additionally, some cases come with built-in drying capabilities, further enhancing the maintenance routine.
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Hearing aid lifestyle accessories

For those leading an active lifestyle, the intersection of sports and hearing aids can present unique challenges. Enter the realm of active accessories. Sweatbands specifically designed for hearing aid users act as the first line of defense, trapping perspiration before it can compromise the device's functionality. Additionally, specially designed clips are available, ensuring that your hearing aids remain securely in place during even the most rigorous activities. These active accessories not only protect your investment but also ensure consistent sound quality as you move, play, and sweat.

Sweatbands for hearing aids
Sweatbands for hearing aid users trap perspiration before it can compromise the device's functionality.

Hearing aids are no longer just functional devices; they're now an extension of one's personal style. The market has seen a surge in decorative accessories meant to adorn these auditory tools. Popular among children and the fashion-forward adult, charms, and decals can be attached, turning a once purely functional device into a stylish accessory. These decorative additions allow users to embrace their hearing aids, showcasing them not as mere tools but as a reflection of their unique personality and style.

Assistive hearing devices

Assistive hearing devices are tools designed to enhance and work alongside your hearing aids, assisting users in specific environments like classrooms or auditoriums. These include:

  • FM systems: Using radio signals, these can transmit sounds to a hearing aid from distances up to 300 feet, primarily utilized in educational environments.
  • Induction loop systems: More prevalent in Europe, these convey sound via electromagnetic energy, often connected to public announcement systems in places like museums or auditoriums.

Certain devices enhance phone conversations, while others notify users of events when their hearing aids are off. For example, hearing-impaired alarm clocks vibrate the bed to wake users rather than relying on sound. Vibratory alert systems can signal incoming landline calls, doorbell rings, or activated smoke detectors.

Many with hearing loss, particularly from conductive causes, experience tinnitus—a constant ear ringing. This condition can be more disruptive in silence and may affect sleep. Devices emitting a soft white noise are available to mitigate tinnitus, aiding sleep by masking the ringing sensation.

Wireless connectivity accessories for hearing aids

Wireless connectivity has revolutionized the way hearing aids interact with other devices, providing users with enhanced functionality and convenience. Many modern hearing aids offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing seamless connection to smartphones, tablets, and other audio devices. This enables users to stream phone calls, music, and other audio directly to their hearing aids, providing a more immersive listening experience.

Bluetooth accessories for hearing aids

In addition to direct Bluetooth connectivity, there are various accessories available that further enhance the streaming capabilities of hearing aids. Bluetooth neckloops or streamers can be worn around the neck, acting as a bridge between the hearing aids and audio sources. These accessories allow users to wirelessly connect to TVs, computers, and other audio devices that may not have built-in Bluetooth capabilities.

If you’re having difficulty hearing, we recommend making an appointment with a licensed hearing care professional. They will discuss your concerns with you, administer a hearing test, and advise you on the best course of treatment.

Telecoils and their benefits

Telecoils, also known as T-coils, are small copper coils built into some hearing aids. They enable users to connect to telephones, assistive listening devices, and loop systems that are equipped with a compatible magnetic field. Telecoils can improve the clarity of phone conversations and reduce background noise, making it easier for individuals with hearing loss to communicate effectively in various settings.

Remote controls & smartphone apps for hearing aids

To provide users with greater control and customization options, many hearing aids come with remote controls or smartphone apps. These accessories allow users to adjust volume, switch between listening programs, and fine-tune settings such as bass and treble. Smartphone apps often offer additional features like geotagging, which automatically adjusts hearing aid settings based on the user's location, providing optimal sound in different environments.

Where to buy hearing aid accessories?

When it comes to purchasing hearing aid accessories, there are several options to consider. Each option has its own benefits and considerations.

Audiologists offer specialized expertise in hearing aids and accessories, providing personalized services, hands-on demonstrations, compatibility assessments, customization options, and ongoing support.

On the other hand, online retailers and manufacturer websites offer a wide range of products, but buyers should be cautious about return policies, authenticity, and customer reviews.

Local stores and pharmacies provide immediate access to essential accessories but might have a limited range and less specialized advice compared to audiologists.

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How to choose hearing aid accessories?

When choosing hearing aid accessories, it is crucial to consider:

  1. Brand and Model Specificity of Hearing Aids: Different hearing aids have unique features and specifications, affecting accessory compatibility. Ensure the accessories align with your hearing aid's design by checking the user manual, contacting the manufacturer, or exploring online forums for user insights.
  2. Compatibility of Accessories with Hearing Aids: Not all accessories work with every hearing aid. Essential items like remote controls, Bluetooth streamers, or rechargeable batteries might need specific hearing aid models to function. Seeking advice from an audiologist or a hearing healthcare expert ensures you pick the right accessories for your needs.
  3. Understanding Personal Hearing Needs: When choosing hearing aid accessories, tailor them to your unique needs and situations. If you're active outdoors, consider sweat-resistant covers or wind noise reducers. For social settings or meetings, remote microphones or Bluetooth streamers can enhance speech clarity.
  4. Determining Situational Accessory Benefits: Reflect on your daily activities to pinpoint the best accessories for you. If phone conversations are challenging, consider a telecoil or Bluetooth phone accessory. For TV or music enthusiasts, wireless streamers can offer a superior audio experience by directly connecting to hearing aids.
  5. Consultation with Audiologists: Engage with audiologists to ensure you pick accessories that align with your lifestyle. Their expertise can guide you in understanding the functionalities, benefits, and constraints of each accessory, facilitating an informed decision.
  6. Accessory Pricing: Accessory costs can differ based on their type and brand. While some basics like cleaning tools might come with the hearing aids, advanced items like wireless streamers might be extra. It's wise to compare prices across different platforms for the best deal.
  7. Insurance and Accessory Coverage: Insurance plans differ in their coverage for hearing aid accessories. It's vital to directly consult your provider to discern what's covered and understand any limitations or associated costs.
  8. Financial Aids and Assistance: If accessory costs are overwhelming, explore manufacturer financing options or look into nonprofit organizations, governmental programs, and foundations. These entities might offer financial support or grants for those with hearing impairments.

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