I’m notorious for using hearing aids for a LONG time. My first one lasted NINE years. Another one lasted TEN. With my track record, you would think I was quite fastidious in their care, using the dri-n-store, removing the battery each night and keeping it in a little box lovingly wrapped in cloth. Truthfully, I’m no better than anyone else at taking care of it. I’ve chucked it all over the place: in the front pocket of my beach bag, my purse, my wallet, my shoe. I’ve sat in hot tubs with it, accidentally jumped into showers and pools still wearing it, I’ve even jogged for miles with it in my HAND. While none of those things are a GOOD IDEA, your hearing aid could probably survive should a mishap occur.
This got me thinking that there have been a number of scenarios which caused many a near-hearing-aid-death-experience. And let’s face it, dealing with loaner hearing aids, extra trips to the audiologist’s office is quite frankly, a pain. Or worse, you may be faced with replacing it altogether. Time (and money) is precious! So to spare others from this heartache, I thought I’d shed some light on these potential pitfalls that can mean disaster for your hearing device(s).
In the spirit of preparing for the worst (yes, yes, while hoping for the best), here’s a list of the 10 Most Dangerous Places for a Hearing Aid:
1. On the nightstand As I mentioned in a previous post, in a strong earthquake those hearing aids can go flying. Even if you don’t live in earthquake country, a nightstand is the Bermuda Triangle for a hearing aid. Lot’s of weird factors can make them disappear. I like to put them in a box or container.
2. Unattended within an animal’s reach I can’t tell you how many people have told me their hearing aid was eaten by their dog. VERY hard to recover anything that’s been chewed through (or digested) I would imagine. Cats are also unpredictable passive-aggressives that are known to play air hockey with or bury them in sandboxes. Who knows where it will end up.
3. On a roller coaster Some people really like to take extra precautions at amusement parks because wind, gravity and g-force (?) are not your friend here. With all the jerks and twists, your head can go one way and your hearing aid the other. Good luck finding it in the lake below.
4. Next to a cup of orange juice Don’t even ask me how that happened, but it did. There it was sitting in a neat orange puddle. I tried to dry it out as best I could, but even the static sounded sticky. I did get it back weeks later. I assume they put it through a mini car wash.
5. In the ocean Anyone who’s been caught in a wave will tell you it’s like being in a washing machine. So if your hearing aid comes off while you’re dipping your toes in a vast body of water filled with plant and sea life – together the force and pressure of a wave washing it away, I think it’s safe to say it may be sleeping with the fish (or eaten as a snack).
6. Anyplace with the potential for a snowball fight The Wisconsinian in our home is vocal about this one and it makes perfect sense. Getting pummeled with the equivalent of wet fruit is bound to cause some damage. At least invest in some neon colored ear molds for the winter. You’ll have a prayer in finding them in the snow.
7. On the back of the toilet Some people might put it there as they jump in the shower. Risky business. One false move and it’s on it’s way to the fish party too.
8. In the street I’d advocate for skateboarders to tape ‘em on or leave ‘em home. It won’t do well with track marks, gravel dents or smashed to smithereens, nope.
9. The kitchen counter Two words: garbage disposal
10. The dance floor If you’re like me, it’s been quite awhile since I went out for a boogie night, but I’m just saying it’s a hazard. I recall in college teasing a friend flipping it off his ear again and again (yes I am a good friend) and suddenly it just dropped off onto the dance floor. I literally dove down to rescue it. Risked my life practically. See? I’m a great friend.
So, that’s some food for thought. After years of use, we get cocky with them. Skirt the edge of insanity really. I hope someone can benefit from my experience.
What’s the most dangerous place you’ve had yours?