There are several ways you can adapt a stethoscope to use with some hearing aids, or even adapt the hearing aid to hold a normal stethoscope eartip.
Special eartips such as Steth-O-Mates can be used with CIC and sometimes ITE aids. It is sometimes difficult keeping them in the correct position and people occasionally find them uncomfortable. It may be more tricky to get them to stay in place over ITEs and they may be more likely to buckle or give feedback. But Steth-O-Mates don’t cost much and are convenient to use so worth a try. The smaller size fit over CICs and larger over ITE. Specify your make of stethoscope to get the right screw fitting.
Hearing aid moulds can sometimes be adapted to allow you to use a stethoscope with normal eartips. This may be as simple as carving out a hollow over the vent on your moulds to fit your stethoscope eartips. Or take off the stethoscope eartips and fit the stethoscope tube to vents in the ear moulds as explained in this article.
Moulds can also be made that are attached permanently to your stethoscope and worn over CIC and possibly ITE hearing aids (eg Westone.)
If you have open fitting hearing aids, you may not need to do anything: you may be comfortable using normal ear pieces over the domes. Of course check you can hear through the stethoscope and the domes aren’t occluding the stethoscope ear tips. And check the domes and fine tubing aren’t being damaged.
- Have you read the essential safety information: “limitations of hearing aids and implants?”
- Consider funding
- Arrange a trial period
- And see how your audiogram matches up to heart and lung sounds to find out whether you need amplification or not.
- If the spring in other stethoscope arms is so strong you find it uncomfortable, try the Thinklabs ds32a+ which has adjustable arms. I haven’t handled one myself yet so do let me know if you try this and how you get on. Thanks.
- Don’t forget, hearing aids don’t usually reproduce the low frequencies well. So if you’re using earpieces, custom moulds or headphones over hearing aids you also need vents in your ear moulds or open fitting.