When it comes to hearing aid accessories, there are a few “must-have” products, including a supply of batteries, brushes to clean out domes and earpieces, and a small, flexible wire that removes earwax blockage from tubing. These come in handy when your patients don't have time to visit your office to get their devices cleaned by your hearing aid vacuum. Then there are the “nice-to-have” accessories that are readily available for purchase. These products may not be necessary to a hearing aid wearer, but they can make their lives much easier.
Here are some good examples:
Hearing Aid Dehumidifiers
Hearing aid dehumidifiers are extremely helpful for wearers who live in a humid climate or take part in activities that expose their hearing aids to moisture. Basic models use a desiccant to eliminate moisture, and the process can be completed overnight. Other dehumidifiers have the desiccant in a soft pouch that, once placed in a microwave, takes about one minute to draw out any moisture. There is even a model housed in a metal tin that does the trick after being placed in an oven for about a half-hour.
Dry & Store Devices
The Dry & Store unit, manufactured by Ear Technology Corp, is a small device that uses UV light to dry and sanitize hearing aids overnight. Being so small, it can be taken with the user wherever they go, allowing them to reap the benefits of hearing aid drying any time, any place, anywhere.
Assisted Listening Devices
Assisted listening devices help hearing aid wearers hear better in larger environments, like lecture halls, entertainment venues, classrooms, and theaters. Some connect to a home phone to make conversations a lot easier to hear, while others can vibrate to wake the wearer up in the morning or alert them when someone is at their door.
Telephone and Smart Device Connectivity Products
Some hearing aid manufacturers have clips (e.g., Oticon’s ConnectClip) that transform the hearing aid into a wireless headset, allowing the wearer to make or receive hands-free mobile phone calls. Wearers can also use clips to stream music to their hearing aid(s) through connection to a tablet, smartphone, or computer. And, for landline phones, there is a phone adapter that allows a hearing aid wearer to answer a call by pressing a button on a small clip they are wearing.
Rechargeable hearing aids eliminate the worry of batteries dying at the most inopportune times, and they also do away with the need to carry a spare pair. The hearing aids are placed into a charger overnight and are fully juiced by morning.
There are also adapters that allow wearers to adjust TV volume on their hearing aids. This allows them to raise the volume to a preferable level while not disturbing others in the room. Additionally, small remote-control devices exist that fit in the wearer’s pocket or on a key ring. These can be used to adjust the volume of the hearing aids, without reaching behind the ear to make an adjustment.
So, next time you have a patient that is feeling down on their hearing aids, let them know there are a handful of hearing aid accessories out there that can help them vastly improve their quality of life.