Chances are, you’ve spent enough money on your hearing aid to consider it an investment, not just a casual purchase. It has given you great value, enabling you to hear the world around you better. But as with many things, we sometimes take the things that bring the most meaning to our lives for granted, and forget to take proper care of them.
Hearing aids are sensitive. Their miniaturized electronics don’t respond well to rough handling or to moisture, and both its microphone and its receiver can become clogged with dust, dirt, or ear wax, reducing their ability to work properly. However, with regular care and maintenance, your hearing aid can last for many years, and continue to perform its function as well as it was designed to. What follows are some do’s and don’ts of hearing aid maintenance.
Handle with care
- Handle it gently, and instead of removing it while standing over a hard floor where it might be damaged if it falls, remove it over a towel on a countertop.
- Keep your hearing aid away from temperature extremes – cold or hot.
- Don’t use chemical solvents or alcohol to clean the hearing aid.
- Apply hair care and styling products before you insert your hearing aid. Hair gels and hairspray can clog the components and can sometimes affect the exterior plastic too.
Protect it from moisture
- Keeping your hearing aid away from moisture is especially important for digital hearing aid models because of the extensive internal circuitry they contain.
- Take your hearing aid out before swimming or showering. Never use a soaked cloth to try to clean it.
- Always remove your hearing aid before going to sleep, and store it overnight in a place that is clean and dry.
- After bathing, always make sure that your ears are completely dry before reinserting your hearing aid.
- Think about purchasing a hearing aid dehumidifier to prevent moisture buildup. A dehumidifier is relatively inexpensive and will combat the number 1 reason for hearing aid service or repair – moisture.
- To use it, remove the batteries from the unit first, and then store it in the dehumidifier overnight, so that it can remove any accumulation of moisture.
Remove excess ear wax
- The second most common reason that hearing aids are returned for servicing is that they become clogged with ear wax.
- Ear wax is a natural thing, and is beneficial in that it helps to protect our sensitive ear canals, but it can be tough on hearing aids.
- Upon removing your hearing aid, wipe away ear wax using a soft cloth.
- Use the brush or other implements provided with the hearing aid to remove any buildup of ear wax from its receiver and microphone areas.
Change the batteries regularly
- As batteries lose their charge you may notice a degradation in hearing aid performance.
- With many hearing aids, if the batteries run down completely, you may have to reprogram the unit.
- To extend battery life, turn the hearing aid off when you are not using it. Double check that it is off when you store it at night.
- When you change the batteries its a good time to clean the battery contacts using a cotton swab. Dirty contacts can also impact your hearing aid’s performance.