The Dog Ate My Hearing Aid!

Surprising Ways People Lose Their Hearing Aids

Adapted from an article written by Debbie Clason, staff writer for Healthy Hearing

 

Americans spend an average total of 2.5 days every year looking for lost belongings such as remote controls, cellphones, car keys and eyeglasses, a survey by getpixie.com indicates.

A curious dog looks at the camera

The biggest reason for hearing aid loss?
The family dog uses them as a chew toy.

And while two-thirds of us annually spend as much as $50 to replace these items, the cost can be much higher for those who lose their hearing aids.

“It’s not as uncommon as you might think,” says Dr. Melissa Danchak, AuD. “We usually see three or more people per month who lose their hearing aids. In January, I counted eight people who lost them.”

Good Hearing Aid Habits Are Key

“Generally, people lose their hearing aids because they don’t develop a routine,” she said. “When I’m dispensing the hearing aids, I first tell them to wear their hearing aids all their waking hours. If they’re in their ears, they’re less likely to lose them. If the hearing aids are placed in their box/charger when they are removed, they won’t get lost. Developing good habits is important to prevent loss.”

That means taking a few extra steps, even if you’re tired and want to take a nap. It’s easy to knock the aids off a side table or counter and into the sink. Women should consider keeping a designated hearing aid container in their purses so they have a recognizable container to put them in when they take them out when not at home.

Those who don’t follow this advice often lose their hearing aids—or find them in the most unlikely places.

 

Hearing Aids End Up In The Strangest Places

Hearing aids have been known to accidentally fall out of the ears, too. One patient told Dr. Danchak he found his hearing aid several months later in the bottom of his dishwasher while another said she retraced her steps and found her hearing aid in a parking lot. Remarkably, both units were unharmed and continued to work properly.

But the biggest reason for hearing aid loss is because the family dog uses it as a chew toy. “That’s what we see the most often,” Dr. Danchak said. "The biggest thing I stress is to put the hearing aids in a safe place when they’re not in your ears— especially if you have a dog. You may not have a dog, but if you visit a family member and they have a dog, remember that and be conscientious. And make sure the container closes really well. You don’t want your pet swallowing any part of a hearing aid.”

Watch Your Batteries, Too

The tiny button batteries found in hearing aids and plenty of other devices can be tempting to pets and little children. If you suspect a child has swallowed a battery, immediately call the battery National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 800-498-8666.

What To Do If You Lose Your Hearing Aids

Of course, even the most diligent people can lose a hearing aid. If it happens to you, don’t look forever. Although most homeowners’ insurance does not cover hearing aids, your devices are covered if they're under warranty for loss. And while replacement costs can be inconvenient, restoring your prescription sooner rather than later is important to your hearing health.

Dr. Danchak states, “How long they look for it depends on the circumstances,” Dr. Danchak said. “If they lost it at home, I tell them to give it a week before they replace it. If they lost it out and about, they should probably replace it immediately.”

It's important to develop good habits about storing your hearing aids when they’re not in your ears, make sure they fit securely, and talk to your hearing health professional about any issues you may be having. Good hearing health habits begin with a hearing health practitioner you can trust and scheduling an annual hearing evaluation.