They’re small, expensive, and cats and dogs have been known to play with or even eat them: We’re talking about hearing aids. Because today’s models are designed to be inconspicuous, losing track of them can be all too easy. What should you do if one of your hearing aids goes missing? Here are some suggestions from HealthyHearing.com, a hearing aid education website:
- Retrace your steps, carefully. Think about where you were when you last saw your hearing aid, or when you noticed you needed but did not have it – perhaps at a crowded restaurant or the movies. If you were in a store, library, or gym, call and ask if someone turned it in to the front desk or lost and found. If you lost it at home, look behind and beneath your bed, night table, and dresser. Dig behind the sofa cushions, and inside your purse, briefcase, and pockets.
- Call your hearing specialist. Most hearing aids are covered by the manufacturer for one-time loss and damage for at least the first year and often longer. Your provider can quickly tell you if you are covered. “Your hearing specialist also may be able to get you a ‘loaner,’ which is a hearing aid you can use until yours is found or replaced,” says Patricia Ramos, Au.D., clinical adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla.
- Check your homeowner’s insurance policy, or contact your insurance agent to find out if hearing-aid protection is already included in your insurance plan. If it is, you will probably find it in the section that includes other valuable personal property, such as jewelry, high-end cameras, and silverware.
An ounce of prevention
Of course, the best course of action is to minimize the chance you’ll lose your hearing aids in the first place. Here are some steps to take:
- Store hearing aids in a cool, dry place, such as a carrying case, jewelry box, or the drawer in your night table Don’t place out in the open, where they could be moved or damaged.
- Clip them on. You can often buy inexpensive clips at hearing offices that will fasten the hearing aids to a shirt collar. Hearing aid clips are e useful when you are doing activities outdoors.
- Get a new warranty. If your hearing aids are no longer covered by their original loss and damage protection warranty and the original manufacturer will not re-warranty them, there is a company called ESCO that will warranty any hearing aid as long as it is in good operating condition. Learn more about ESCO.
- Use your iPhone. A few companies, such as ReSound Starkey, and Widex, have teamed up with Apple to produce hearing aids that can be fine-tuned from an app on your smart phone.