What can I use if my hearing aid breaks or I run out of batteries?

Posted by Sasha Hodes on Mar 19, 2020 10:36:29 AM

The Coronavirus was just recently termed a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, as many countries across the world either shut down for business or are about to do so. This, as one can imagine, will cause major problems as healthcare provision for things not categorised as essential slows down or becomes entirely disrupted. As getting appointments to see the audiologist becomes more impractical and harder to access, anyone who is hearing impaired and uses hearing aids could be left without working hearing support.

Matt Hancock, the UK’s health secretary, has stated that anyone 70 and over will have to remain at home in isolation for up to four months, as they are seen most at risk from fatality after contracting the Coronavirus1. 71% of those have some form of hearing loss2 - that’s 2.3 million people - and 55% of these rely on a hearing aid to manage their hearing loss3. That means in the UK there will be 1.3 million people in government required self-isolation for months who rely on hearing aids and will be unable to get the assistance needed to fix it if it breaks or becomes faulty. Neither will they be able to easily head over to the shop to get batteries when the hearing aid goes flat. To have no hearing while in isolation is not only entirely dissociating, it can be unsafe due to barriers to vital communication and the sounds of alarms, phone ringing, and doorbells going unnoticed.

Of course, this isn’t just an issue for people who are 70 and over. People of all age groups are either voluntarily self-isolating or doing so due to illness and health vulnerabilities, and there are around 12 million people nationwide who have some form of hearing loss4. If this is the case and you have a hearing impairment that requires a hearing aid for you to function well day to day, then being stuck at home for weeks on end will understandably raise some real concerns for you too.

So what do you do if your hearing aid breaks or you run out of batteries and don’t want to risk a venture to the shop?


Chatable: an easily accessible, universal hearing aid


The Chatable hearing aid app is the perfect hearing aid substitute and solution to the problem at hand.

     1. Access this hearing aid from the safety of your home

Firstly, the app can be accessed from the safety of your home by just going to the app stores and downloading it - a simple click-and-go. Download the app on Google Play store here.

     2. No hearing test or fitting is required 

Chatable doesn’t require a test or fitting to use, therefore it’s irrelevant that the audiologist services become more remote. Neither does Chatable require you to venture out and risk your health just to get batteries for flat hearing aids, since all you have to do is make sure your phone’s charged for it to work, which can be done at home!

     3. You control what you hear 

Chatable allows you to control what you hear with the swipe of the finger. You can leave on the background noise so you hear everything you may need to hear to stay safe. Or, if you don’t want the noise of the kitchen or television you can turn it all the way down and just hear who you’re speaking to. Chatable gives you flexibility, in that it allows you to quickly adapt to changing sound environments. And with its high level of accessibility it is the perfect tool to have in a time of crisis, especially if you have hearing loss or a hearing sensitivity.

The Chatable hearing aid app is currently available on the Google Play Store here.

You can also sign up for the iPhone beta release, which we have been working around the clock to bring to you during this time of need.

To reserve your place on the Beta - which will be  free to use for a limited time - please go ahead and sign this form:

https://share.hsforms.com/1H1XSsXSDTleJRABmaO1S9Q3y5eq

For more information on Chatable, please visit our website.


Appendix: 

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/16/older-people-contact-over-70s-self-isolate-crisis
  2. https://www.hearinglink.org/your-hearing/about-hearing/facts-about-deafness-hearing-loss/
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/914468/use-of-hearing-aids-in-the-united-kingdom/
  4. https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/about-us/our-research-and-evidence/facts-and-figures/