Your hearing aid represents a sizeable investment. So far, it has performed well, allowing you to reconnect with loved ones and participate in conversations you once shied away from. But like many things of great value, we sometimes take them for granted, and don’t take care of them the way we should.
Electronic hearing aids are precision instruments, and thus sensitive. Rough handling and moisture can damage the miniaturized electronics in modern hearing aids. Dust, dirt and ear wax can clog the microphone, receiver or both. Fortunately, there are a few simple care and maintenance steps that – when followed regularly – will ensure your hearing aid performs up to manufacturer expectations once your take it home. In this article, I point out a few of these simple care and maintenance Dos and Don’ts, to help you to properly maintain your hearing aid.
Handle with care
- When removing your hearing aid from its packaging or temporary container, stand over soft ground so that if it falls, it falls onto a soft surface not a hard floor.
- Try to never expose your hearing aid to high heat or extreme cold.
- When cleaning it, don’t use alcohol or chemical solvents.
- 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
- The digital circuitry in your hearing aid is particularly sensitive to moisture.
- Take your hearing aid out before swimming or showering. Never use a soaked cloth to try to clean it.
- Remove the hearing aid before going to sleep, and store it in a clean, dry place.
- Before you insert your hearing aid, clean and dry your ears as best as possible.
- One of the most common causes of hearing aids having to be returned for service is the buildup of moisture; an inexpensive hearing aid dehumidifier can prevent this, and thus prolong its life.
- To use a hearing aid dehumidifier, which removes any accumulation of moisture, remove the batteries from the unit before storing it in the dehumidifier overnight.
Remove excessive ear wax from your ears
- Becoming clogged with ear wax is the second most common reason that hearing aids require service.
- Ear wax is good and natural for our ears, but can be problematic for hearing aids.
- Upon removing your hearing aid, wipe away ear wax using a soft cloth.
- Clean any ear wax from the receiver and microphone areas of the device, using the brush or tools provided with the unit.
Make sure to change the batteries often
- 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.