WHD 2020 posterWorld Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss and it is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.

Hearing for life: don’t let hearing loss limit you

On World Hearing Day 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) will highlight that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential.

The key messages for World Hearing Day 2020 are:

  • At all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to each other, our communities, and the world.
  • For those who have hearing loss, appropriate and timely interventions can facilitate access to education, employment and communication.
  • Globally, there is lack of access to interventions to address hearing loss, such as hearing aids.
  • Early intervention should be made available through the health systems.

In celebration of World Hearing Day here are some timely reminders from WHO about how to get the best from your hearing aids.

Care of your hearing aids

  • Keep your hearing aid in a safe, cool place when not using it.
  • A hearing aid must be kept dry. If it absorbs moisture, it may not work properly. Take it off while bathing.
  • Every night, open the battery drawer and place the hearing aid into a sealed plastic tub, with something dry e.g. fine tissues or rice.
  • Make sure it is switched off when not being used, in order to save battery life.
  • Keep your hearing aid away from water and heat e.g. a stove or flame.

How to check the battery is working:

  • Remove the hearing aid from the ear and take off the earmould.
  • Switch the hearing aid on and turn the volume control to the highest setting.
  • Place the hearing aid in the palm of your hand.
  • If there is a continuous whistling sound, it indicates the battery is working.
  • If there is no whistling sound, the battery should be replaced. If there is still no whistling sound after inserting a new battery, then there could be a problem with the hearing aid, you need to get it checked.
  • Hearing aids use batteries and these must be changed about once in 7 to 10 days, depending on how much it is worn. If the hearing aid stops working, try changing the batteries first. It is important to check the batteries in a child’s hearing aids every day.
  • KEEP HEARING AID BATTERIES AWAY FROM LITTLE CHILDREN! Children may swallow the batteries, leading to serious complications requiring surgery to remove them.

Hearing aids use

  • The earmould must be cleaned every day and wiped with a dry cloth. Once a week, you can remove the earmould and its tube from the hearing aid and wash in soapy water. This will make sure that any wax blocking the earmould is cleaned.
  • When wax blocks the earmould, the hearing aid can stop working.
  • The hearing aid can make a whistling sound when it is not inserted correctly into the ear.
  • The hearing aid itself must never get wet, or it may be damaged and stop working.
  • Every few months, the tube that connects the earmould to the hearing aid will need replacing.
  • The earmould itself will need to be replaced every year. This will need to be done more often in infants and children to ensure the mould fits the child’s ears, as their ears are growing. If the earmould is too small for the child, it may cause the hearing aid to whistle.