Hearing aid controls vary a great deal and you should refer to the instructions that came with your model. However, most hearing aids have some common features.
Your hearing aid needs to be switched off when you are not using it. On most models you use the battery compartment to turn the hearing aid off. Your audiologist will show you how. If you have a switch marked O-T-M, ‘O’ stands for off.
Many hearing aids have a volume control. Usually this is a wheel, but it can be a little lever. All volume controls need to be pushed up to make the hearing aid louder and down to make it quieter. Some hearing aids adjust their own volume automatically depending on how loud sounds are. You do not need to adjust these.
Hearing aids with directional microphones help you to focus on sounds in front of you more than sounds coming from the side or behind. They can be particularly helpful when there is a lot of background noise. It’s best if you switch between directional and ‘all round’ sound in different situations.
Some hearing aids have other features, such as a button to change to different settings (or programmes) for different listening situations. Please refer to your own hearing aid’s instruction manual for details of any special features.
Modern features make life easier for hearing aid wearers
Most NHS hearing aids have a ‘T’ setting for ‘telecoil’. When you set your aid to ‘T’ it allows you to use special listening equipment, such as an ‘induction loop’ or a telephone described as ‘hearing aid compatible’. If your hearing aid has an O-T-M switch, most of the time you will switch to ‘M’ to pick up sounds through the hearing aid microphone. But you need to switch to ‘T’ to use an induction loop or hearing aid compatible telephone.
Other models have a button that you press for the ‘T’ setting. When there is no loop, if you put your hearing aid on the ‘T’ setting by mistake you will probably hear a buzzing or humming noise, but you will not pick up anything else.
These allow hearing aid users to pick up sound more clearly at a distance or across a counter window by using the ‘T’ setting.
A loop system transfers sound direct to the hearing aid, reducing most background noise. You will find induction loops in many theatres, conference halls, booking offices and at bank counters. You can also have an induction loop fitted at home, for listening to TV and audio equipment for example.
If you see this symbol then it will often mean that there is an induction loop system fitted. For further help and information on induction loops and other accessories to help hearing please contact Hi Kent on 01227 760046 or visit its website at Hi Kent