Hi everyone. We would like to pass on our experience living with COVID19 and hearing aids. And yes, we hearing aid wearers need to pay special attention to our hearing aids at this time. First and foremost, follow the CDC guidance about washing your hands—we do it constantly here and especially after coming back home from brief outdoor excursions—and of course staying at home. Here at Hearing Wisdom we have relocated some of our office to a home office, so we can continue to address all your needs. So if in fact you need anything from hearing aids to batteries to domes just email us or call us. firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1-888-564-2436.
As we all know now, people catch this virus from interacting with other people and then touching our face, glasses and hearing aids. Once you touch your face it will get to your eyes, ears and nose—all of which are gateways to your insides. If you can avoid touching your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth with hands that may be contaminated, you will beat this virus. But most of us touch all parts of our face and head constantly, because we have been doing it throughput our lives, so while you can do your best it might not be good enough. To avoid this, when you go out you will need to wear a mask and if you don’t have a mask use a bandanna and tie it around your head the way a bank robber from the old cowboy movies would. And definitely wear some form of eyewear to protect your eyes.
Now what about hearing aids? Let’s first talk about when you go out. I think because many masks require that they be anchored behind the ears, you should consider taking off your hearing aids before you go outdoors. After all you will not be interacting with people much anyway. And since you are not going to be out there a long time and not in restaurant, perhaps you should consider skipping wearing your hearing aids.
Since your hearing aid may be connected to your cell phone, you may ask, what will I do if my cell phone rings. One option is to leave your phone at home too. This will prevent possible contamination of your phone. Another option is to take your phone but use it only if it is an emergency.
What to do if in fact you must wear your hearing aids when you go outside? In that case, first and foremost, whenever you put on a mask make sure the hearing aids are tightly secured and in place. And that is because when you put the mask on or take it off, the hearing aids could fly off in any direction. This has already happened to me. So please take extra care before leaving the house that your mask or bandanna is on securely and when you get home, that you take it off carefully. Both times check that your hearing aids are in place.
Second, when you come home after you have put everything away and washed your hands, then take your hearing aids off and simply lightly wipe all the external parts with a paper towel and sanitizer, include the wire and the dome in this process. Wash your hands again and then put your hearing aids back on.
If you are using a car to go places, you will need to have your hearing aids on so as to hear what is going on around you but when you step out of the car take them off, unless as discussed above you absolutely cannot get along without them. Here are some more suggestions for driving with hearing aids in the age of COVID19:
What about if you are going out in your car? You will have to practice to see what works best for you but one process is something like the following:Drive your car where ever you are going just like you normally do.
Before getting out of the car, take off your hearing aids and put them in a secure place. Put on your mask.
After you have finished your errand and are back in the car, take off the mask, and put on your hearing aids.
When you get home, before getting out of the car, put the mask in a secure place in the car and leave it there for the next outing.
In the house, wash your hands, put away your groceries, wash your hands again. Then in the bathroom, take out your hearing aids and clean them (or carefully in the kitchen), wash your hands, and put the hearing aids back in your ears.
Folks these are tough times especially for us with hearing aids and who are older. We must be doubly careful; my advice is to not to take needless chances. We all want to or need to go out and I think that if you are mobile, yes go out but avoid taking equipment with you that will need to be cleaned when you get back home, as much as you can. Try to keep all the processes simple.