Earth Day Tips and Hearing Loss

Wednesday is Earth Day 2015 (Earth Day is always on April 22nd) and there are little things that we can all do to honor the ideals of Earth Day. This includes hearing aid wearers, too. Here are a few tips to help you be a little ‘greener’ this Earth Day (and every day).

Earth Day 2015

Earth Day 2015

 

1. Buy hearing aid batteries in bulk

Hearing aid wearers can go through batteries like a kid can go through an Easter basket full of candy…there’s the potential for a lot of consumption there. With conventional packaging, you might have to take off the shrink wrap to get to the cardboard packaging before you break open the plastic so you can get to the plastic sheild.

Instead of buying a lot of little packages of batteries for your hearing aid, see if you can buy in bulk like these multi-paks. Better yet, see if you can find a seller willing to selling in bulk without all the packaging.

Multi-pak batteries

Multi-pak batteries

Speaking of batteries…

2. Buy mercury-free batteries

Mercury is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans but is present in trace amounts in some batteries. Hearing aid batteries contain only a small amount of mercury but it’s still toxic and, when discarded with each battery change, over time the mercury in the batteries will work it’s way into the world, the water supply, into the food supply and so on.

Some manufacturers are now offering mercury-free batteries like these from Power One.

 

Mercury-free batteries

Mercury-free batteries

3. Buy a rechargeable battery system

We use rechargeable batteries for toys, flashlights, and radios. Why not for hearing aids? Now there is a rechargeable option for hearing aid batteries like this one from Starkey.

Rechargeable hearing aid battery system

Rechargeable hearing aid battery system

5. Consider a rechargeable hearing aid

Depending on your usage, a rechargeable hearing aid may be just the thing for you. You won’t have to keep a stock of batteries on hand nor will you have to have nimble fingers trying to maneuver those slippery little batteries into those tiny little cases. A rechargeable hearing aid may cost a little more than a conventional one but, in the long run, it may be worth it. Ask your hearing care professional about rechargeable hearing aids when you are ready to get new ones.

Rechargeable hearing aid

Rechargeable hearing aid

6. Don’t buy cheap disposable hearing aids

Not only are cheap disposable hearing aids not worth the money, they may be even a hazard for your hearing. Cheap ‘hearing aids’ offer poor sound quality and little or no user satisfaction. This makes it easy to throw it out and get a new one with the idea that the new one might be better. Don’t be fooled by the low price tag. A true hearing aid isn’t cheap or disposable. Your hearing aid is meant to last for years while offering you a better quality of life and YOU are worth the investment. Choose a hearing aid that is custom fitted to your ear and programmed professionally for your hearing loss…keep those cheapie hearing aids out of the trash by honoring your ears with a true hearing aid approved by the FDA.

7. Donate your old hearing aids

You may have outgrown yours or are ready for an upgrade, but to someone else your hearing aids are valuable pieces of equipment you’re about to toss. Behind-the-ear style hearing aids can be cleaned and refurbished and then reprogrammed for someone else. Of course, the new wearer would need to make sure their hearing professional can reprogram the hearing aid for their particular hearing loss and they would also need to purchase new ear molds, but for someone on a fixed income or a tight budget, this donation can be the difference between a fuller life and isolation from the world around them.Many service clubs offer programs to collect and redistribute reusable medical devices like hearing aids and eye glasses. Click here for more information about donating your old hearing aids.

In the spirit of Earth Day, we can each do our part to make our world a better place for ourselves today and for our children tomorrow.

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