Hearing aids provide a solution to hearing loss for people with moderate, severe and profound levels of impairment. They amplify sounds, distinguish frequencies and even utilize Bluetooth in order to assist the user in differentiating between words and background noise. With proper care, many people can feel like their hearing is almost back to normal again. Because of this, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to make sure your hearing aid doesn’t malfunction and lasts for years to come. Below are some handy tips for ensuring a long life for your hearing aid.
Keep Them Clean and Dry
Before bed, use a soft, dry cloth or with a wax pick and brush to carefully clean earwax from the opening at the end of the device (as well as the ear molds). If too much debris accumulates in the opening, it can result in a muffled sound, feedback (whistling) or even damage the receiver. Avoid using any cleaning solutions containing alcohol or chemicals while cleaning so your device doesn’t become damaged.
Like any other technology, hearing aids are susceptible to damage when they get wet. To avoid this, remove your hearing aid before you shower, wash your face or even swim. Also, be sure to place your device back in the ear only after you have applied hair products like gel or hairspray.
It would be beneficial to store the device in a hearing aid dehumidifier—out of reach of pets and small children—if you live in a humid climate or sweat a lot. There are two types of dehumidifiers:
- Plastic jar with a desiccant (water-absorbing solid) that draws out moisture over several hours
- Dry & Store unit that harnesses the power of ultraviolet light to dry and sanitize the hearing aid
Speak to a professional to determine which kind of dehumidifier is best for your device.
Use Wax Guards
A hearing aid wax guard is a small plastic screen that attaches to the sound outlet of the hearing aid, helping to protect it from bits of earwax, debris, moisture and dust from getting into your hearing aids. Wax guards are even more important for hearing aids that sit closer to the ear canal, such as invisible-in-canal and completely-in-canal aids where they are much more prone to earwax buildup and blockages.
Producing earwax is a completely normal part of life, but it can start to interfere with your hearing aids by getting trapped in the sound outlet or microphone opening. If this happens, your hearing aids might start to sound muffled or distorted. If moisture or dust infiltrates the hearing aids, it can start to permanently damage them. Your audiologist can help you get them repaired or replaced, but it is much more cost-effective to utilize wax guards.
Maintain Your Battery
Keeping the battery in place over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing aid. That’s because any trapped moisture can cause the battery to corrode. Keep the battery door open when the device isn’t in use, especially overnight when everything has time to air and dry out. It’s also a good idea to wipe the battery compartment clean and remove the battery if the device won’t be used for a couple of days. In addition, check the strength of your battery regularly with a battery tester to make sure it’s always at its best.
Schedule Routine Check-Ups with Your Audiologist
Hearing aids are sophisticated electronic devices that rely on parts to function properly. Regular check-ups are important for maintaining optimum performance and may help identify potential issues early. If left alone, hearing aid problems could cause the user to become frustrated and not get the most out of their devices. Seeing an audiologist about every four to six months guarantees that anything you may have missed or wouldn’t have noticed during your own maintenance will be addressed.
Come to the Hearing Specialists
At Sonora Hearing Care, our experts are the leaders in the treatment, diagnosis and continued care of hearing difficulties. From evaluation to implant testing and mapping, we are committed to providing the best care possible in a warm, inviting environment.
To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact us today.