How to Murder Your Hearing Aid

Gael Hannan
April 9, 2024

Warning: The following may contain content that some people find upsetting.

I had one of those incidents yesterday. I pulled a sweater off over my head and, in one of those awkward battles we have with ourselves, my hearing aid disengaged and fell to the floor. Because I didn’t feel it and or hear it land – it weighs only a couple of ounces and it fell on a soft carpet – I narrowly avoided stepping on it.

Whew! I thought back to an incident years ago, when I practically pulverized my device by crunching on it with my boot. I also realized that through the years, I have murdered or nearly obliterated, several hearing devices. Perhaps a better term is that I have been guilty of sloppy negligence, leading to the death or complete disappearance of a valuable hearing device.

I am guilty of almost all the following. How about you?

  1. Feed it to the dog. Not on purpose, obviously. It was my first hearing aid and I came home late one night and put it on the nightstand. My roommate’s huge Kommondor puppy (look it up) came in while I slept and ate it. In the morning, he still had bits of my hearing aid caught in the curly hairs around his mouth.
  2. Grind it beneath your heel. There was no repairing this device.
  3. Drown it. There are many ways to do this. On rare occasions, I wear it into the shower, but bolt through the shower door when I realize I can hear the water! Or you might forget you’re wearing your devices and go snorkeling, like my friend. One of his aids floated away to become fish food, and the other one was miraculously revived by his audiologist. Another good drowning method it is to put in your pocket for some crazy and indefensible reason (see #6 below) – and then throw that article of clothing in the laundry. Bye-bye!
  4. Don’t take care of it. Simply don’t clean it or change wax guards. Let the air vent fill with guck, throw it around, and never take it in for professional care. Keep up this negligent behavior until it ceases to be a working device. And then start ranting about how these things never work!
  5. Throw it away. Not literally in the garbage. But perhaps you discard it for a new device or exchange it for a cochlear implant. Throw it in a drawer, maybe? Your discarded devices will grow moldy in a drawer until the sad, eventual day when you pass, and somebody gets the job of throwing them in the trash. So yes, literally in the garbage! (Give old devices to your hearing care professional to be recycled.)
  6. Just lose it. Usually this is achieved by putting it down somewhere other than your safe, usual place – such as in a dry aid at night. But if you’re that person who stuffs things in your pocket or purse, or unusual spot, there’s a good chance that you will lose it.
  7. Not protect it when you’re in a high winds area. Yes, your hat can blow off taking your device with it. Wear a hiking hat that ties under the chin; you probably won’t look as silly as you think. (Although, you might.)

Negligence towards your devices will come back to haunt you with lots of frustration, additional expenses and the very worst thing: not being able to hear or communicate effectively.

Who would do these things, you ask? Um, I would.

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