What is a filter, you ask? Watch the video above for an in-depth tutorial. Basically, a filter is a little cap at the end of your hearing aid (where the sound comes out), that catches wax and debris, to keep it from working it’s way down into the speaker of the aid. Wax, debris an moisture are the enemy of an electronic device like a hearing aid, so the cleaner we keep it, the better it will work!
How often do I need to change my filter? I recommend that you change it monthly. Pick a date that works for you, like the 1st or 15th of the month. Do it at the same time that you pay bills or when you give your dog his heart worm medicine. A monthly change of the filter can be considered preventative maintenance, like changing the filters in your air conditioner.
Does everyone have to do this? “I have never changed it and I don’t seem to be having problems.” Different ears produce different types and amounts of wax, so changing the filter monthly is a good average that seems to work for most of my patients. Some will need to do it more often.
How do I know it is time to change it? Aside from the monthly change, if you notice that one hearing aid seems “softer” or more “muffled” than the other, if you notice that the “startup sound” or your indicator beeps for program changes seem too soft, that aid may have a clogged filter.
Changing it at home *might* just solve the problem and save you a trip to see your provider! I cannot tell you how often someone comes in frustrated that their hearing aid is muffled or “dead” and all that is needed is a filter change! It is a wonderfully easy fix, but the person still leaves a little frustrated that they made a whole trip to the office for such a small thing that they could have done themselves.
Why didn’t my provider tell me about filters? First, I have to share with you that I personally tell every single patient about the filters but they often forget about them. They leave with so much new information after their fitting, I understand! So, perhaps your provider did share with you but you have forgotten. Otherwise, I believe some providers hold back this information because they are afraid of overwhelming a patient or they think the patient is not capable of doing it. I believe that you should know about the filter, even if you choose not to change it yourself.
If I don’t have the dexterity or the vision to do this myself, what should I do? Share this video and information with a family member or caregiver that can help you maintain your hearing aids. Your provider will also change the filter for you anytime you come into their office for cleanings. As an independent office, I offer to clean ANY brand of hearing aid and change your filter for you for free! I am happy for you to swing by and take advantage of this.
What happens if you never change your filter, EVER? This depends greatly on the type and amount of wax that you produce. For some people, they will find themselves in and out of their provider’s office, constantly having parts replaced due to them breaking down. Others pop in my office with 5 year old hearing aids that they purchased elsewhere, having never even heard of a filter, and they have not had a single problem. They probably produce very little or no wax and luckily for them, their hearing aids always stayed quite clean!
This is the single most important thing that you will ever do to maintain your hearing aids. It is also very easy to overlook, especially as time goes by. It makes me think of flossing! Nobody really wants to do it, but we all know that we should! If you purchased hearing aids elsewhere but would like for us to clean them and change your filter, please let us do so for FREE!
If you are unsure about your current provider and would like an adjustment of your current aids, please check out my “Second Look” program, where I will waive my $65 adjustment fee for first time visitors. If you are not wearing your hearing aids consistently or are unsure that they are set optimally, please let me take a “Second Look“!
Levine Hearing3121 Springbank Lane Ste GCharlotte, NC 28226704-540-3081Levinehearing@gmail.com
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