While we have over 70,000 thoughts a day on average, it’s easy to imagine how we may forget where we last placed our prized possessions. In fact, the average American spends 2.5 days per year searching for lost objects, costing $2.7 billion in annual replacement costs. Unfortunately, losing your hearing aids can be more than a minor nuisance, stopping you from performing everyday activities and costing much more than losing a remote control or your favorite pair of jeans. To make matters worse, due to their small size, patients and audiologists have reported losing hearing aids in strange and unusual places, leading to a costly replacement and an embarrassing story to your doctor.
Losing your hearing aids can be a common and frustrating occurrence, but sometimes a common misplacement can land your hearing aids in extraordinary places. Extraordinary places like a beloved pet’s stomach says Charlie Swinbourne of the BBC, who after placing them on a hallway trunk before taking a shower found his dog Scruffy looking guilty and his hearing aids missing. “Where were they? Confused, I looked up at my girlfriend who’d just walked in. She had a look on her face that told me everything I needed to know – Scruffbags.” He said. “I was gutted. Before Scruffy intervened, I’d prided myself on my 24-year unblemished record as a careful hearing aid user. Then he made Pedigree Chum out of my best friends, friends who have been with me through thick and thin. “
Swinbourne’s story is not unheard of, as patients report losing their hearing aids in all types of ways and all types of places. Dishwashers, parking lots, clothes dryers, and even the stomach of man’s best friend have all been reported to house lost hearing aids, prompting audiologists across the country to advise their patients on how to keep track of such important equipment.
Developing a routine has been the number one reported method for keeping track of those pesky hearing aids. Consistently wearing them during waking hours ensures that they are safe in your ears and not floating around your home, while reliably placing them in a designated container or charger when not in use can prevent unnecessary loss. Avoid placing them in pockets or high traffic areas such as countertops and kitchen tables where they are easily dropped or brushed aside when fumbling with day to day items such as keys or wallets.
Unfortunately, even the most responsible owners can misplace their hearing aids. If this happens, reaching out to your health care provider for a loaned replacement and ensuring they are under warranty for loss can be a quick and easy way to get your hearing ability back while you search for your lost unit. Remember, don’t search for too long. For those with hearing loss, going weeks without your hearing aids can result in even worse hearing down the road.