Everybody hanging in there? Hopefully when this goes into print there are still no cases in Highlands County. Praying this coronavirus will just dissipate. Hopefully none of our seniors are having any unexpected health issues.

Please remember to clean your hearing aids. COVID-19 can stay on the plastics for up to three days. In this situation, you can wipe them down with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or the alcohol wipes. While we don’t recommend long term use of rubbing alcohol on your hearing instruments due to the drying nature to the alcohol, a month of this practice is not going to hurt anything. We also carry a cleaning spray at the office if you are not comfortable using the rubbing alcohol. “Sani-Spray” kills germs and is safe on plastics.

However you clean them, just be diligent and do it everyday. Actually, I would do it in the morning before you put them in and then in the evening when you take them out.

As we all start to get a little stir crazy, you could always play some hearing games. Try downloading Starkey’s Hear Coach on your smartphone or tablet. Even if you don’t have a Bluetooth hearing aid that’s paired to the phone, you can still play the games on Hear Coach. (If you do have a connected smartphone then it will stream the game directly into your hearing aids). It is practice for your brain to identify speech in noise. There are several games on the app. Open the game and turn up the volume to a comfortable level ... with your hearing aids on. It doesn’t matter if you miss some words, it’s just practice for your brain to understand speech better in background noise.

To have more fun, then play the game with someone else. You can compete and see who gets the best score. Just because one of you wears hearing instruments and the other may have normal hearing does not guarantee that the one with normal hearing will get the better score. It’s a game so there is a time clock and you also earn points.

It’s been proven that playing these games several times a week can indeed improve your speech understanding in noise.

Hoping and praying all our patients and friends remain COVID-19 free. We have been reaching out to our patients concerning their upcoming appointments and options available, and we will continue to contact you as this virus continues. Rest assured, measurements are always taken to provide you the safest hearing help available. Let us know what you need and we will make every effort to help you! Call 863-385-3497. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.