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As an audiologist, I understand the challenges individuals face when it comes to wearing hearing aids. One common issue that can arise is a hearing aid retention string that keeps popping out of the bowl of their ear.
What Does a Hearing Aid Retention Wire Do?
Before delving into solutions, it’s essential to understand the purpose of a hearing aid retention wire. Its primary function is to secure the hearing aid in your ear, preventing it from slipping out or becoming dislodged during daily activities, talking, or chewing. Even long hair can make it difficult for the hearing aid to stay in your ear. I typically call them the kickstand of your hearing aid. The retention wire typically rests within the concha bowl of your ear, providing stability and enhancing the overall fit of the hearing aid.
Are Hearing Aid Retention Locks Necessary?
Hearing aid retention locks are only necessary if your hearing aid tends to slip out of your ear. I would estimate that 25% of my patients choose to take them off their hearing aids. If you experience this issue, it is advisable to test the retention wire’s effectiveness by wearing your hearing aid for a day and observing if it stays securely in the concha bowl. If the hearing aid consistently pops out, then using retention locks becomes important.
Tips for Dealing with a Popping Retention String
If you find that your hearing aid retention string keeps popping out, here are some steps you can take to address the issue:
1. Assess the fit
Ensure that the retention wire is properly positioned within the concha bowl of your ear. Use your thumb and index finger to adjust the wire, gently curling it inwards, similar to curling a ribbon, to improve the fit and stability. Pay attention to any discomfort or pressure points while adjusting, as the wire should provide a secure hold without causing pain or irritation.
Learn to curl the retention string:
2. Cut the retention lock shorter
If adjusting the wire doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to consider shortening it slightly. Carefully trim the retention wire using sharp scissors, making sure to remove only a small portion at a time. Test the hearing aid’s fit after each adjustment to prevent cutting it too short. If you are unsure about trimming the wire yourself, it is recommended to consult with your hearing healthcare professional to ensure an appropriate length.
3. Replace the retention string
If your retention string is old or worn out, it may have lost its effectiveness. In such cases, it is recommended to replace it with a new one. You can buy them online or your audiologist typically replaces the retention wires when you take the aid in for cleaning. Retention wires are typically easily replaced and many individuals elect to change them at the same time that they change the dome.
Dealing with a hearing aid retention string that keeps popping out can be frustrating, but there are steps you can take to address this issue. By adjusting the wire, testing its effectiveness, and considering replacement when necessary, you can enhance the stability and retention of your hearing aid. If you continue to experience difficulties, it is advisable to consult with an audiologist who can provide personalized guidance and assistance. It may be necessary to switch from domes to a custom-fit earmold.
Remember, maintaining a secure fit is crucial for optimal hearing aid performance, ensuring you can enjoy improved hearing and enhanced quality of life.