Hearing Aid Services
Some patients with implantable hearing solutions may still use hearing aids and in some cases such as electroacoustic stimulation (EAS), a cochlear implant is combined with a conventional hearing aid. In order to give patients who use hearing aids the best and most convenient service, CHi offers an on-site, walk-in hearing aid service. Our highly experienced mould and hearing aid technician understands just how important a properly functioning hearing aid is to those with hearing loss, and goes the extra mile to service or repair these devices as quickly and efficiently as possible. The majority of hearing aids are serviced or repaired on site.
Some common hearing aid problems
The following are some of the most common problems encountered by the technician:
- Replacing ear mould tubes for behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids. These tubes need to be replaced almost every six months. The tube will discolour and harden with time, and this will negatively affect the quality of the sound. If the tubes break, the hearing aid will not work. The tube replacement takes less than five minutes.
- Changing the wax filters can be a fiddly job but if it is not done regularly, the hearing aid will appear to have stopped working. It is therefore important to change wax filters regularly.
- Receiver in the canal (RIC) hearing aids have small rubber domes that fit over the receiver in the ear. These domes should be brushed clean on a regular basis as wax will block the domes and keep sound from coming through.
- Slim tubes (thinner plastic tubes) also need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
When these tubes are bent or if wax blocks them, sound will be blocked. The tubes will also need to be replaced about every six months.
- It is not uncommon for wax to become trapped inside the small ports of the hearing aid device. This can lead to you hearing static sounds or feedback.
Even if you are able to do most of this maintenance yourself, your hearing aids will still need to be serviced annually to ensure their optimal functioning. It is also likely that they will have to be repaired from time to time by the manufacturer.
Moulds for hearing aids
The CHi on-site technician makes moulds for BTE hearing aids, a process which takes between two to three hours. Ear moulds, which are available in a variety of colours, are an important part of the hearing aid device. They direct the sound to the ear and must fit the ear snuggly to prevent feedback. This is particularly important for the more powerful hearing aids.
The first step in the process of being fitted for a hearing aid is the technician taking an impression of your ear canal. The audiologist will usually assist with this process. Firstly an “otostop” is placed in your ear to protect the eardrum before an impression of the ear is made. Impression material is prepared and carefully injected into the ear canal. The material hardens quickly and moments later is removed gently. The impression provides an exact replica of where the mould will seal your ear. This is not a painful process and it does not take long.
Styles and types of moulds.
There are different types and styles of moulds:
- Full concha, acrylic and silicone moulds. These moulds are suitable for people with a severe to profound hearing loss.
- Canal style moulds and canal lock moulds for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Swimplugs are also made from impressions. These look similar to moulds. They are used for people who tend to be in the water a lot. This will protect the ear from middle ear infection. Swimplugs can also be used when bathing or showering.
- Presenter moulds are made for professional people who work on television productions.
Noise protection is made for people who are exposed to high levels of sound. (90dB – 100dB). These levels will damage your hearing when not wearing the proper protection. Sounds above 120dB can cause permanent hearing damage within minutes.