Can You Move Your Fingers, Hands & Arms? Important Considerations for Hearing Aids.
When you are first diagnosed with a hearing loss and the next step is having to wear a hearing aid, there are a number of considerations to think about.
Do I really need a hearing aid? How will a hearing aid look? How often does it need to be worn?
These are all good considerations, however will I be able to put a hearing aid in my ear? Should be one of the first questions to consider and not one that many actually think about.
There is no need to worry about the looks and size of a hearing aid IF you cannot put it in your ear yourself and manoeuvre the aids controls. It's as simple as that, if you can't operate the hearing aid you're not going to reap the benefits of being able to wear one.
This is why you should be thinking about the dexterity of your hands when considering what hearing aid you will want to use.
Your own dexterity needs to be a consideration when choosing the right hearing aid and making sure you can change the right hearing aid settings when you are wearing one.
Dexterity is defined by how well you can move your fingers and hands.
As you get older, ailments, such as arthritis, poor circulation, numbness in fingertips or a stroke all have an impact on your dexterity.
Key Reasons Why Dexterity is an Important Consideration for Hearing Aids
Due to a trend of invisible hearing aids on the market they are being marketed more aggressively, without the thought about your dexterity – such as invisible in the ear canal and completely in the ear canal aids. These are extremely small and fiddly and if you have difficulty with using your hands and you're dexterity is low, you shouldn't consider these hearing aids.
Along with small hearing aids comes smaller batteries, which requires inserting and removing them into the small device, generally fortnightly. Maybe a large rechargeable hearing aid would be better suited to you don't think you could put a hearing aid battery in and out of the hearing aid.
If you are unable to move your right arm, having a hearing aid in the right ear will require insertion by the left hand and arm which can be difficult.
Helpful Tips for Those With Dexterity Considerations With Hearing Aids
Instead of choosing a hearing aid on appearance, look at how well you will be able to manage it. Discuss this with your hearing specialist and any concerns you have over dexterity.
Are you worried you may adjust the hearing aids volume or change the setting with an accidental brush of your hand? Chat to your hearing specialist to see what can be made automatic so leave the hearing aid with fewer manual adjustment controls as possible.
When inserting hearing aid batteries use a magnet (some hearing aids are supplied with a magnetic tool) to lift the battery out and lift a new battery in. If you are buying a hearing aid, is rechargeable an option? This will eliminate the need for small hearing aid batteries.
If you are buying a hearing aid, make sure it is on a trial basis that will allow you to try it out first
Use our dexterity search guide in our hearing aid comparison section www.yourhearinghelper.com/hearing-aid just stating in the box provided 1(very good) to 5 (not good).
Check out the dexterity meter for each hearing aid in the hearing aid catalogue on our site to see what dexterity the aid is recommended for.
Although custom moulds may appear the biggest style and most cumbersome, once used to the imprint of your ear shape and practice getting a mould in your ear has shown a lot easier for those with poor dexterity as there is more to hold.
If using a custom made mould and still having difficulty, it is worth having a chat with your hearing specialist to see whether the mould needs and adjustments or additions to make it easier for you.
If you have the best hearing aid for you and your hearing and your dexterity is low, the main tip is to practice, more practice and do not give up and you will be surprised with how well you start to manage.