Hearing Aid Tubes: What They Are And How They Work

 

Curious about how the tube in your behind-the-ear hearing aid works? It's not as complicated as you'd think— though that doesn't make it any less important.

Despite how user-friendly they've become, hearing aids are nevertheless incredibly sophisticated devices. They sort of have to be — otherwise, they wouldn't necessarily be capable of simulating hearing. Unfortunately, this sophistication can make the process of shopping for a new hearing aid significantly more intimidating. 

After all, it's difficult to justify spending a tidy sum on something so essential when you have literally no idea how it's supposed to work. 

Let's see if we can't help with that. Over the next few months, we're going to go over each component of your hearing aid and explain what it is, how it's made, what it does, and how it works. With any luck, by the time you're finished reading, the concept of a hearing aid will be just a little less overwhelming.

We'll start with hearing aid tubes.

 

What Is a  Hearing Aid Tube?

A hearing aid tube is a thin length of hollow plastic that connects the main body of the hearing aid to the earpiece. It serves something of a dual purpose. First, in behind-the-ear and receiver-in-ear hearing aids, it anchors the external components of the hearing aid to its internal components.

Second and most importantly, a hearing aid tube transmits sound between these components. If a hearing aid tube suffers from any sort of damage or flaw, this can severely impact the functionality of your hearing aid. The good news is that because they're a fairly simplistic component, hearing aid tubes are relatively simple to replace.

 

What Are the Different Types of Hearing Aid Tubes?

All hearing aid tubes ultimately serve the same purpose and generally only differ from one another in terms of size: 

  • Standard hearing aid tubes have an external diameter of approximately 3.16 mm and an internal diameter of 2.16 mm.  Most hearing aids that rely on tubing will use this size.

  • Slim hearing aid tubes are thinner than standard tubes, with an external diameter of 3.10 mm and an internal diameter of 1.93 mm. Although they're more flexible and comfortable than standard tubes, slim tubes may also have trouble carrying enough sound for individuals with severe or profound hearing loss.

  • Thick hearing aid tubes measure approximately 3.60 mm externally and 1.93 mm internally. They're better for acoustics than the other types of tubing and also work well for individuals with larger ears. 

Moisture-free hearing aid tubes, as the name suggests, are a unique type of tubing designed to prevent moisture buildup. Available in either standard or thick sizes, this tubing is usually only available by special request.  Waterproof hearing aids use moisture-free tubing as a general rule.

 

 

How Do You Adjust a Hearing Aid Tube?

Hearing aid tubing must be replaced regularly, similar to hearing aid domes — generally every six months. A hearing aid tube may harden or become blocked by debris if used for too long without replacement. In addition to impeding the functionality of your hearing aid, the tube may also crack and cause abrasions within the ear. 

Generally, it's recommended that you have your hearing aid tubing replaced by your audiologist as part of a regular hearing checkup. That isn't to say replacement is impossible on your own. Just that it's a bit of a complicated process

  1. Contact your audiologist and ask them to give you some spare tubing. Make sure you know the type/size of tubes your hearing aid takes before you call. Note that if you're using a standard RIC or BTE hearing aid without an earmold, you'll want to get your audiologist's help. 

  2. Make sure you have a pair of scissors and pliers, as you will likely need to cut/bend the tubing for it to fit. 

  3. Wash your hands thoroughly. 

  4. Clean the old earmold. 

  5. Gently twist off the old tubing from the hearing aid and pull it out. Keep this tubing, as you'll need to twist the new tubing into a similar shape.

  6. Cut the new tubing, then thread its tapered end through your earmold until the bed is as close to the earmold as possible.

  7. Cut the inner end of the tubing along the edge of the earmold

  8. Use the old tubing as a guide, and make sure the new tubing is the same length.

  9. Re-attach your hearing aid to the tubing. 

As you can see, it's likely a safer bet to just let your audiologist handle this — after all, you're going to be there for a hearing exam anyway, right?

Hearing Aid Tubes: What They Are And How They Work

 

Curious about how the tube in your behind-the-ear hearing aid works? It's not as complicated as you'd think— though that doesn't make it any less important.

Despite how user-friendly they've become, hearing aids are nevertheless incredibly sophisticated devices. They sort of have to be — otherwise, they wouldn't necessarily be capable of simulating hearing. Unfortunately, this sophistication can make the process of shopping for a new hearing aid significantly more intimidating. 

After all, it's difficult to justify spending a tidy sum on something so essential when you have literally no idea how it's supposed to work. 

Let's see if we can't help with that. Over the next few months, we're going to go over each component of your hearing aid and explain what it is, how it's made, what it does, and how it works. With any luck, by the time you're finished reading, the concept of a hearing aid will be just a little less overwhelming.

We'll start with hearing aid tubes.

 

What Is a  Hearing Aid Tube?

A hearing aid tube is a thin length of hollow plastic that connects the main body of the hearing aid to the earpiece. It serves something of a dual purpose. First, in behind-the-ear and receiver-in-ear hearing aids, it anchors the external components of the hearing aid to its internal components.

Second and most importantly, a hearing aid tube transmits sound between these components. If a hearing aid tube suffers from any sort of damage or flaw, this can severely impact the functionality of your hearing aid. The good news is that because they're a fairly simplistic component, hearing aid tubes are relatively simple to replace.

 

What Are the Different Types of Hearing Aid Tubes?

All hearing aid tubes ultimately serve the same purpose and generally only differ from one another in terms of size: 

  • Standard hearing aid tubes have an external diameter of approximately 3.16 mm and an internal diameter of 2.16 mm.  Most hearing aids that rely on tubing will use this size.

  • Slim hearing aid tubes are thinner than standard tubes, with an external diameter of 3.10 mm and an internal diameter of 1.93 mm. Although they're more flexible and comfortable than standard tubes, slim tubes may also have trouble carrying enough sound for individuals with severe or profound hearing loss.

  • Thick hearing aid tubes measure approximately 3.60 mm externally and 1.93 mm internally. They're better for acoustics than the other types of tubing and also work well for individuals with larger ears. 

Moisture-free hearing aid tubes, as the name suggests, are a unique type of tubing designed to prevent moisture buildup. Available in either standard or thick sizes, this tubing is usually only available by special request.  Waterproof hearing aids use moisture-free tubing as a general rule.

 

 

How Do You Adjust a Hearing Aid Tube?

Hearing aid tubing must be replaced regularly, similar to hearing aid domes — generally every six months. A hearing aid tube may harden or become blocked by debris if used for too long without replacement. In addition to impeding the functionality of your hearing aid, the tube may also crack and cause abrasions within the ear. 

Generally, it's recommended that you have your hearing aid tubing replaced by your audiologist as part of a regular hearing checkup. That isn't to say replacement is impossible on your own. Just that it's a bit of a complicated process

  1. Contact your audiologist and ask them to give you some spare tubing. Make sure you know the type/size of tubes your hearing aid takes before you call. Note that if you're using a standard RIC or BTE hearing aid without an earmold, you'll want to get your audiologist's help. 

  2. Make sure you have a pair of scissors and pliers, as you will likely need to cut/bend the tubing for it to fit. 

  3. Wash your hands thoroughly. 

  4. Clean the old earmold. 

  5. Gently twist off the old tubing from the hearing aid and pull it out. Keep this tubing, as you'll need to twist the new tubing into a similar shape.

  6. Cut the new tubing, then thread its tapered end through your earmold until the bed is as close to the earmold as possible.

  7. Cut the inner end of the tubing along the edge of the earmold

  8. Use the old tubing as a guide, and make sure the new tubing is the same length.

  9. Re-attach your hearing aid to the tubing. 

As you can see, it's likely a safer bet to just let your audiologist handle this — after all, you're going to be there for a hearing exam anyway, right?

  

  

  

Do you think you might be suffering from hearing loss? Call or chat today to talk with one of our Hearing Consultants:  

Call #phone#.

  

  

  


Researching Hearing Loss?

Get our free Research Guide >

Evaluate Your Lifestyle

Go to the Questionnaire >

Ready for an Appointment?

Schedule Appointment >
<b>Hearing Aid Slimtubes </b><br> Choose from a variety of hearing aid slimtubes to suit your your needs.

Hearing Aid Slimtubes
Choose from a variety of hearing aid slimtubes to suit your your needs.