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When consulting with patients who are trying hearing aids for the very first time, we start with the basics. We want to get the hearing aids set up appropriately, evaluate how well they are working, and teach the person how to handle them. One of the first things that people want to know is how to turn the hearing aid off and on.

Hearing aids that use normal consumable zinc air batteries are all turned off in the same way. You turn the hearing aid off by opening the battery compartment to disengage the battery. You do not need to open it all the way, but usually just opening it to the first click will be enough to turn the instrument off. You can test whether it’s off by cupping it in your hands. If the aid squeaks or squeals, you may need to open the battery door further. To turn the aid back on, simply close the battery door.

Some hearing aids also have the option of a ‘mute’ function, which will essential turn off amplification. This feature usually needs to be activated by your audiologist, so ask him or her whether this is available to you. If you have it, it is usually activated using a long press on one of the instruments’ controls, using a remote control, or on the smartphone app. Mute is not the same as turning off the aid. It simply stops it from making a sound- but the battery will still be working. It’s like closing the lens cap on a camera without turning it off. Mute can be handy if you want to quickly quieten the instrument, but we still recommend opening the battery compartment to turn it off properly.

Most rechargeable hearing aids are automatically turned off when you place them in their charger. They will also automatically turn on when you lift them out. It’s also important to know how to turn them off using the controls when you are not near your charger. Most have a manual control using a long press on one of the hearing aids’ buttons, and some can also be done using a remote control or smartphone app. Speak to your audiologist to find out how your hearing aids can be manually turned off.

It’s important that hearing aids be turned off every time you remove them from your ears. Leaving them on will not only waste battery, but make a sound, which can attract your dog or cat to investigate. If you close them in a container, they will also emit feedback, which may be audible to you or your family.

If you have any questions or need assistance turning your hearing aids off and on, please contact us or comment below.