Murphy’s Law informs us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better version might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”
That’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, replace the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re trying to protect our investment and stretch its life.
You should think of hearing aids in the same way. If you give things a chance to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your maintenance, your hearing aids can persist and perform properly for years.
So what are the things that can go wrong? Here are the three main threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to safeguard against them.
1. Physical damage
Opponent # 1 is physical damage. Hearing aids contain fragile electronics that are prone to damage from shock. To defend against this, make sure to store your hearing aids in their storage cases anytime you’re not using them.
An effective rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at all times. Setting your hearing aids exposed on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and bump them off. Similarly, when you’re putting in and removing your hearing aids, it’s best to do this over a soft surface in the event that they fall.
Additionally, take the time to check and replace the batteries frequently. You’re not doing the electronics any favors by forcing the hearing aids function on low battery power.
Electronic devices and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a mobile phone in the kitchen sink knows all too well. Once underwater, there’s not much that can be done. But it requires much less than total submersion in water to damage your hearing aids.
Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and start causing chaos. As a result, you should refrain from using hairspray, bug spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. Additionally, remember that drastic changes in temperature can generate condensation, for example moving from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, ensure that you dry off any moisture that develops.
We also suggest not keeping your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can generate issues. This is another reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the best location to store your hearing aids when they aren’t in use.
3. Earwax and dirt
Even if you’ve defended your hearing aids against physical destruction and water with appropriate storage and the prevention of moisture, you’ll still need to protect against opponent # 3: dirt and grime.
Earwax, dust, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, blocking the speakers, ports, and other elements. To protect against this, 1) sustain adequate ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids every day.
In terms of cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the tools provided by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can provide cleaning kits and guidance specifically for your type of hearing aids.
Finally, consider acquiring a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers utilize ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill pathogens, all while providing a safe place for storage.