UGH! It’s that time again.. We are here.... the PEAK OF HURRICANE SEASON! Personally, if I never experience another hurricane it will be fine with me. 9 days of hot “no power” days and 6 days of clean up was enough for me. With the different activity that has been popping up off the coast of Africa there has been some conversations with patients and staff at the office about last years, Hurricane Irma.
SO...lets take a look at your hearing aids in regards to your “hurricane survival kit”. First, when was the last time you had your hearing aids cleaned by your hearing health care provider? Go get it done. Let them determine that it is working properly. Stock up on any supplies that you may need while you are there. Batteries, wax guards, ear gene, and earbuds. While I lost power at my house and my office, I was able to borrow a friends motorhome so that I had a generator to provide a temporary office. But.. even with that we were still powerless for the first 5 days. OPEN... but powerless. NO PHONES... so the only way to get to us was to drive. Hmm.... drive... that is if you wanted to use your gasoline. Remember, gas for our vehicles was also an issue. (Top off your tank). We actually had about 10 people wander in; hoping that we were at the office because they needed batteries or their hearing aid quit working.
While you are with your hearing health care provider get them to look in your ears. If you have wax then get it taken out. You hear better with clean ears and your hearing aids work better too. When was the last time your hearing health care provider took wax out of your ears or at least checked them. They should be checked at least every 6 months.
Know how your hearing instruments work... and understand it. HUH? Do you have batteries or rechargeable hearing aids? What type of Rechargeables? The first rechargeable hearing aids that hit the market several years ago ran off of a rechargeable cell that could also be interchanged with a regular size 312 hearing aid battery. Typically a single charge would last the patient from 8-14 hours depending upon the hearing loss. With this system; in the event of a power outage the patient could just use regular hearing aid batteries. So, if this is the type of system you have then pick up a couple packs of batteries. Most size 312 batteries will last about 6-7 days. So do the math... 2 hearing aids..
Hearing aids batteries have about a years shelf life if the tab has never been peeled... so go pick up a pack or two just in case. You can always give them to a friend if you don’t need them.
The latest rechargeable hearing system uses Lithium Ion cells. The charger also has a lithium ion cell in it too with an “onboard” charger. (Thus if there is a power outage the charger itself can re-charge your hearing aids several times). This is important to understand. These instruments will typically have an off switch that is programmed by the professional. These aids will run approximately 30 hours before they need to be charged. Normally, when you take off your hearing aids every night you put them in the charger. However, if there is a hurricane and we lose power, then turn off your hearing aids with the button on the aid and just lay them in the storage area of the case... do not put them in the charging port. Wear them until they go dead or say “battery” and then put them in the charging ports. Another charge will last another 30 hours.. or about 2 days. If you have Starkey Hearing Technologies Lithium Ion rechargeable hearing aids you will get approximately 8-9 days out of the system if you follow these instructions. If you have another manufacturer then you should touch base with your provider or read your user manual to make sure you understand completely how it works before ending up in the dark. Best to be prepared! #To Hear Better Is To Live Better!