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Changing your hearing aid battery in public

Unitron Stride M

Are you comfortable with taking your hearing aid out, changing the battery and putting it back in when there are other people about? Gael Hannan asked this question in her HHTM column and it got me thinking.

I don't think I am comfortable with it, which is odd because I am more than happy to let people see my hearing aids, happy to talk about them and happy to write about them. But for some reason the act of touching them is different.

The office I work in at the moment is qute a challenging listening environment, it's a small enough office that everyone can talk to each other without leaving their desks but big enough for people to be too far away for me to hear. There's a radio at the other end of the office to me that is on most of the day, which adds to the problem. And finally, I sit close to a human-foghorn who drowns out almost everything else for at least 2 miles! All that means I am changing volume more often than I normally would and I'm not comfortable with fiddling with my aid to change it, I don't know why, I don't mind people seeing them, in fact that it useful as it draws attention to my hearing problem, but I don't like being seen messing around with them. Luckily my Phonak v90s are smart in that when I change volume on one aid the other automatically changes too - so just one disguised volume change is needed, usually a turn of the head or a fake head scratch.

That's just changing volume, changing the batteries would be even worse, not only would I draw some major attention by taking them out, people would also see the dreaded brown guck (copyright Gael Hannan!). I've been wearing hearing aids for about 25-30 years and I can honeslty say I have never changed the batteries whilst out in public, not once, never. I change the batteries every Monday morning and they have never died on me during the week, I have had a few duds that didn't work when I put them in but never had one that didn't last the week - which is pretty remarkable seeing as I have a severe hearing loss, so my hearing aids are working hard all the time. Thank you Rayovac for years of perfect service!


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