Really, how many old hearing aid molds does a person need to keep?
The Hearing Husband and I recently sold the house we’d lived in for 16 years, and it was time to clean out the Stuff We Don’t Need. It was an excruciatingly slow process, the drawer-to-drawer, closet-to-closet search of accumulated things, deciding what to keep and what to throw out. Towards the end of the cull, you’re cranky and start pitching out anything you can’t brush your teeth with or wear to this year’s Christmas party.
Then, pay dirt! Literally. I discovered my cache of old hearing aid pieces that I’d forgotten I was hoarding—the brownest, most disgusting things I’d come across so far. The archeological find revealed five ear molds, circa pre-1994 which is when I switched to CICs (completely in the canal hearing aids), two sets of green molds that manufacturers use to make the aids, four sets of CICs, and various tiny cleaning utensils that, of course, I could never find when I needed them! Missing from the cache were the actual behind-the-ear (BTE) technical pieces, which I must have donated to charitable organizations for repurposing. Accounted for was the hearing aid the dog ate; the screws, springs and plastic bits surviving that midnight munch had not been worth keeping.
These old ear molds and CICs gave me a pang of nostalgia, especially the detachable BTE ear molds. I’d loved wearing them; they always fit like a second skin and through the years I’d spent many happy minutes blowing moisture bubbles out of the plastic tubing.
Sitting on my bedroom floor with decades of brittle hearing technology in my hands, I remembered those good times, as well as the silly dangers to which I’d exposed my hearing aids. Miraculously, most had survived the attacks and passed away of old age. By my calculation, 1 hearing aid year = 16 human years, but here are a few of the stupid things thatanybody can do to shorten the lifespan of their hearing aids.
- Wear them into the shower. At almost the exact same moment that you think, “My, that sounds like a pretty waterfall”, reality hits and you jump out of the shower, taking the shower curtain with you. This happens fast, a split nano-second of time, because the potential drowning of $4000 worth of hearing aids is the only thing that could make you move that quickly—especially naked.