Do you understand the essentials of hearing aid maintenance? Although hearing aids don’t require a lot of upkeep, it’s important that you maintain and protect your devices to extend their lifespans, prevent breakdowns, and avoid repairs. Use the hearing aid maintenance tips below to keep your hearing aids in working order for years to come.
Hearing Aid Maintenance 101
Handle your hearing aid with care.
Even though most modern hearing aids are strong and durable, it is important that you handle them with care. Each time that you hold a hearing aid, insert it, remove it, or clean it, use a secure grip. And when you need to set it down, place it on a clean and soft surface, like a fresh towel.
Don’t immerse your hearing aid in water.
Although most hearing aids are water resistant, that doesn’t mean you should wear them when you shower, swim, or take a bath. If moisture comes into contact with the inner components of your hearing aids, it could cause serious (and perhaps even permanent) damage. For this reason, you must remove your hearing aids before immersing yourself in water. In addition, remove them before getting into a hot tub or steam room. If your hearing aids do get wet, gently dry them with a towel – not a hair dryer or any other high-heat device. Finally, do not use water to clean your hearing aid.
Store your hearing aids in a safe, dry space.
When you take them out each night, store your hearing aids in a dry space. If your climate or your home is very humid, consider purchasing a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier. Otherwise, store your hearing aid in open air overnight and leave the battery doors open to prevent moisture from building up (source). Choose a secure location for this so that the tiny hearing aid isn’t overlooked and pushed, smashed, or dropped. This is especially important if you have children or pets.
Regularly clean off earwax and replace the wax filter.
Although earwax (also known as cerumen) plays an important role in the health of your ear, it doesn’t work well with electronic devices like hearing aids. In fact, it can decrease the performance of your hearing aids. However, it’s inevitable that your hearing aids will be exposed to earwax daily. For this reason, we recommend that you clean your hearing aids at the end of each day. Use a dry cotton swab or soft toothbrush to clean away earwax, oil, moisture, and any debris that has accumulated on the device, including the receiver and microphone. Though you may be tempted, do not attempt to control the amount of earwax in your ear by regularly using cotton swabs. This often packs the wax deeper into the ear, and it may damage the ear canal or drum.
You also need to frequently change the wax filter, which protects the internal components of the hearing aid from earwax damage. Replace the filter whenever you spot earwax build-up on it, and be sure that you use the correct type of wax filter for your device.
If you need help replacing the wax filters on your hearing aids, check out this video from Sound Relief Hearing Center. Dr. Julie Prutsman will show you how:
Take care of the batteries, and change them frequently.
Did you know that the batteries in your hearing aids can cause damage if they aren’t frequently replaced? Even a very small amount of moisture trapped within the device can cause the batteries to corrode, damaging the hearing aid’s interior. So when your hearing aids aren’t in use, open the battery doors to release any moisture. If you don’t need to use your hearing aids for a few days, remove the batteries during that interval.
Replace the batteries often, and when you do so, clean the battery contacts with dry cotton swab. Most hearing aid users develop a replacement cycle by noting how long their batteries typically last for a few weeks and then anticipating the correct replacement time.
Schedule professional cleanings.
Hearing aid maintenance begins with you. By cleaning and caring for your devices properly, you can protect them, extend their lives, and maintain their performance level. However, it’s also important to schedule professional cleanings for your hearing aids every four to six months. In addition to fully and properly cleaning the devices, a professional can examine them to check for damage and repair them if needed. Plus, they can adjust the settings of your hearing aids to ensure an optimum performance level that is tailored to your unique needs.
If you are having trouble with your hearing aids and you live in Arizona or Colorado, please contact Sound Relief Hearing Center. We provide thorough hearing testing, hearing aids, hearing protection, and even hearing aid repair services. Sometimes a hearing aid malfunctions due to exposure to earwax, in which case we will professionally clean your device. Other causes of disrepair include exposure to water or humidity, physical damage, and prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures. We will do our best to repair your hearing aid, and if we can’t fix it in our hearing center, we will send it to the manufacturer for repair.
To learn more about us, please browse our website or give us a call at 720-259-9962. You can also schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our audiologists. We look forward to hearing from you!