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Ten annoying things about hearing aids

Ten annoying things about hearing aids
It's Deaf Awareness Week. Are you a hearing aid wearer? Or know someone who is? GDA, offers a (mostly) lighthearted take on ten annoying things about hearing aids. See if you agree...
  1. They take getting used to. Hearing aids are not like spectacles. It takes time to get used to all the new sounds that come from all directions, and the loudness. Expect to feel tired and a little overwhelmed until you adjust.

  2. Background noise. Hearing aids do not restore 'normal' hearing. Unlike our brains, they tend to amplify everything. This makes noisy environments very difficult to enjoy a conversation in.

  3. The way they look. Let's face it, the most common behind-the-ear beige hearing aid is not a great look and does nothing to reduce stigma around deafness. Designers, take note!

  4. Wax build up. Earwax is pretty grim. Putting a piece of silicon in your ear every day doesn't help the problem. Enough said.

  5. When batteries run out. This always seems to happen when you least expect it, and at the worst moment. Often when your replacement batteries are in another coat pocket or your other bag.

  6. When they get wet. I once sleepily removed my hearing aids and put them onto the bedside table, only to discover the next morning that I had dropped them into a glass of water. That's when your airing cupboard becomes your best friend.

  7. They are fiddly. Hearing aids require a good degree of dexterity to manage the tiny settings that let you control the volume or switch to a T-loop setting. Not easy for many older people.

  8. They whistle. Not pleasant for anyone within earshot. Whistling is actually a feedback noise, when sound escapes from what should be a snugly fitting earmould and feeds back into a microphone. Hearing aids are very prone to whistling if you press the telephone against your ear. 

  9. They sometimes hurt. The ear mould should fit snugly into your ear. A loose mould will whistle and may even fall out; a mould that is too might is as uncomfortable as a pair of undersized shoes on your feet.

  10. When they get hit during sport. Ever been hit on the side of your head with a football? Whatever pain you felt or imagined, multiply that by ten for a hearing aid wearer.

GDA offers impartial advice about hearing aids, and a free re-tubing and new battery service on behalf of Gloucestershire Hospitals. To find a clinic near you please visit our 'What's On' page on the website or call us on 01452 372999.

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