We all know what it is like to lose something we rely upon every day. Your keys end up under the couch, your phone is in your sock drawer, your wallet is in the wrong pants pocket. It happens to everyone. When you lose something as important as your hearing aids it can set your whole day or week off course. The most important thing to do in this situation is to remain calm, take a deep breath, and follow these steps to get you back to clear hearing as soon as possible:
Retrace your steps
Yes, this is what everyone will tell you, but it is well-worn for a reason. Retrace your steps even if you have done it before. Double and triple check because we often overlook details when we are rushed. What were you doing when you last remember having your hearing aids? What you were doing when you noticed them missing? If in public, look through the lost and found or ask an employee if anyone has turned a hearing aid in. If it does not show up immediately, there is always a chance it will. Leave our name and contact information in case a good samaritan turns it in and check back a day or two later. Once you have retraced your steps, checking in unusual places (the freezer and sock drawer kind of spots) can pay off. Your family and friends will be helpful here as a fresh set of eyes, and to jog your memory as to where it could have landed.
Call your audiologist
If retracing your steps does not turn up your hearing aid, and you’ve exhausted your search through your house, car, office, and other frequented spots. It is time to call in backup. Call your audiologist and let them know you have misplaced your hearing aid. You may be surprised to learn that most hearing aids manufacturers cover one-time loss and damage within a year, or sometimes longer. Your audiologist may be able to expedite a replacement so you can get back to hearing clearly as quickly as possible. You can also ask your audiologist to check on your warranty timing or insurance coverage to offset the replacement cost. You may have also covered your hearing aids through your housing insurance or additional coverage. Call your insurance to find out.
Your audiologist should be able to assist you on the next steps with your manufacturer or your insurance. You may need a notarized letter for the insurance or an appointment with your provider for a new earmold in order to order the replacement.
Keep in mind that there may be a fee associated with replacing your hearing aid which will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. On average a replacement fee will be from $75-$215. If you’re lucky, it may be completely covered. While this cost may seem like a lot, this is far lower than you would pay for a new hearing aid and is definitely worth the value of having a hearing aid in your life.
When your new hearing aid arrives, you should return to your audiologist so that they can program and fit your new hearing aid to your ear. A well-fit hearing aid is the first step to ensuring you do not lose it again.
That being said, there are some ways you can prevent this stress and cost in the future. That brings us to part 3.
Prevent it from happening again
Your hearing aid, while essential to your day to day life, has many qualities that make it far too easy to lose. Unlike other commonly lost items, like your phone or your keyring, your hearing aid is designed to be unnoticeable. When it is working well, you won’t even remember that it is there. Hearing aids are small and discreet, and getting smaller and more discreet with each technological improvement. Perfect for staying hidden in your ear, not so perfect for finding it once it has been misplaced.
To prevent yourself from losing your hearing aids again, you may rely on some common strategies:
- Make sure your hearing aids fit properly. If they feel loose, ask your health care provider so they can refit them. If you tend to be active or spend time outdoors, ask your audiologist about a clip to ensure they stay secured.
- Make sure not to take your hearing aids out in public, and always put them in the same designated spot if you take them out at home. Just like your keys get hung up on the keyring, your hearing aids should also have their own home when not worn. Setting up this good habit, and avoiding the bad habit of taking your hearing aids out during the day is the best step towards prevention.
- Look at your phone! There are many apps that exist today that can help you locate your hearing aids even when you cannot hear. Most contemporary hearing aids connect to your phone to help you hear more clearly when you are using your phone. If this connection comes with an app, you should be able to use the “locate” feature of this app to locate the hearing aid. You just have to ensure the app is running and is connected correctly to your hearing aid. Hopefully, you don’t lose your hearing aid and your phone at the same time. Talk about a double whammy!
Obviously, losing a hearing aid can be frustrating and stressful. These steps will put you on your way to finding or replacing your hearing aids so you will be hearing clearly in no time!