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What is a Hearing Aid Tube?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A hearing aid tube is a channel through which sound enters the ear of a person who is wearing a hearing aid. It is one of the simplest components of the hearing aid and does not contain any electronics. The microphone, amplifier, and speaker on the hearing aid increase the volume of sound before directing it into the hearing aid tube and into the ear canal.

Sound travels into the ear by way of the hearing aid tube. This tube is a hollow piece of plastic that runs from the speaker on a hearing aid, from which amplified sound is transmitted, to the interior of a person’s ear. This part of the hearing aid wears out over time and needs to be replaced periodically.

In order to keep a hearing aid tube functioning properly, it is important to clean it regularly. Earwax can build up on the tube, just as it does within a person’s ear canal. Cleaning is a simple process and can be done with a relatively inexpensive tool called a cleaning filament.

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Eventually, the tube breaks down and needs to be replaced. It is possible to have this done by a professional, though many patients chose to replace the hearing aid tube at home. This is easy to do, but the specifications of the tube must be known because there are many different sizes of tube available. A new section of the correct size of hearing aid tube can be inserted into the ear mold once the old tube is removed. It is easier to insert a slightly longer piece than is needed and then trim it down to size once it is attached.

Most hearing aids can be outfitted with either a hearing aid tube or a hearing aid receiver. The main difference between a tube and a receiver is that a tube does not extend into the ear canal, while a receiver extends deeper into the ear, closer to the ear drum. Tubes are less expensive than receivers, though they are also less precise and do not offer the clarity that a receiver does. Additionally, a receiver can be upgraded as a person’s hearing deteriorates, which makes it possible to use a hearing aid that can attach to a receiver for a longer period of time than one that uses a hearing aid tube.

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