Top Tips For Taking Care Of Your Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are a necessary and expensive investment, so learning how to clean and maintain them in-between office visits is a good idea. Hearing aids, unlike other electronics, must work in less-than-ideal conditions: the inside of your ear canals, where they are exposed to earwax, moisture and other environmental debris.
Cleaning your hearing aids regularly, together with normal maintenance from your hearing care specialist, will offer you years of reliable enhanced hearing thanks to precise hearing aid care instructions. Before you begin, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various components of hearing aids and the ways to take care of them. But for now, let’s review some important hearing aid care instructions that will prolong the lifespan of your hearing aids.
Caring for your hearing aids: general tips
Obtain the necessary equipment: For at-home cleaning, a wax pick and brush are essential. Earwax can build up at the opening where the sound comes out of a hearing aid, resulting in muffled or no sound at all. It can damage the receiver if left unattended for a long time. To remove wax, use the pick and brush carefully. Alternatively, newer hearing aids use a replaceable wax guard which is a quick and easy way of restoring the sound of the hearing aids. This is the current standard with hearing aids.
Establish good habits: Before cleaning your hearing aids, wash your hands thoroughly. During your hygiene routine, remove your hearing aids, so that water and soap do not destroy your hearing aids. Shower and wash your face and hair without them. After you’ve applied hair products like sprays or gels, put your aids back in.
Clean your hearing aids before bedtime: Cleaning your hearing aids before bedtime allows them to air out for several hours before you put them back on in the morning. If you are committed to caring for your hearing aid, when cleaning hearing aids, stay away from wet wipes that include chemicals or alcohol because they can harm the devices. We recommend a quick wipe down of the hearing aids with a dry tissue or cloth.
Avoid excessive heat or cold: If it’s below freezing outside and you need to shovel the driveway, expect that the hearing aids will likely perform different than what they normally do – expect low battery signals as the main issue. You can use your hearing aids in these situations, but you can also leave your hearing aids inside the house instead of stashing them in your coat pocket. Similarly, if you’re going to the pool on the hottest day of the summer, bring your hearing aids inside instead of leaving them on a sunny poolside table.
Cleaning in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
Follow these steps to clean an ITE hearing aid:
- To remove build-up wax, use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a brush provided by your hearing healthcare specialist to clean the openings in the device, including the microphone ports. Hold the hearing aid with the aperture you’re cleaning pointing down so that any loose particles fall out instead of being lodged inside.
- After that, remove anything out of the holes that didn’t come out with the brush with a wax pick or hook.
- Replace wax guards when you can see any visual debris inside the sound port.
- Wipe down the entire device with a clean, dry towel or tissue to finish. This will clear the debris from the hearing aid.
Cleaning BTE (behind-the-ear) Hearing Aids
As you continue to follow hearing aid care instructions, make sure to check these methods to clean a BTE hearing aid and earmold:
- Remove any debris from the device with a gentle brush or a dry towel. Check for any debris buildup in the microphone ports, and gently clean with a gentle brush.
- There are various types of earmolds, and some can be removed and cleaned. If your earmold is a tube based one, you can remove it from the earhook. Washing the molds is our normal cleaning method. Dishwashing soap is ideal for degreasing your earmolds. Using soap and warm water, clean the earmolds. You must clear all traces of water from the tube and vent by means of a bulb blower or compressed air.
- If your earmold has electronics inside, clean with a cloth and replace wax guards as needed.
Tubing will harden and shrink over time which will reduce the overall sound quality of your hearing aids. Have your tubes replaced every 6-8 months or as directed by your hearing healthcare provider.
- Over time, some earmolds, particularly those made of soft materials, can discolour and stain. Allow the moulds to dry completely before using them, and avoid using any alcohol or other chemicals on them. Your earmolds may develop a slight odour over time, but a strong odour could suggest an ear infection, so if you notice one, visit your hearing healthcare provider.
Hearing Aid Cleaning Tools:
While these tools are available for purchase online or at most drug shops, you should first check with your hearing healthcare professional to determine which tools are ideal for your hearing aids.
These basic tools can help you keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape:
- Hearing aid cleaning brush: With a soft brush tip, this brush cleans the device’s body, faceplate, or sound port. To make daily cleaning of aids easier, certain brushes incorporate a magnetic battery removal tool.
- Wax pick or wire loop: This instrument is used to safely remove wax and other debris from the nooks and holes of hearing aids.
- Wax guards: Wax guards are manufacturer and sometimes model specific, so when you run out of your supply, return to your hearing clinic to replenish your stock.
Hearing aids are made to help you hear better in even the most difficult listening situations. It’s critical to look after your hearing aid if you want them to work properly. It’s crucial to bring your hearing aids in for frequent check-ups and deep cleaning and yearly adjustments if you want them to last as long as possible.
If you need further help connected to your hearing aids make sure to contact our professionals.