Hearing aids are a significant investment and need regular maintenance to function efficiently and last longer.
Our ears are closed spaces that aren’t cleaned as thoroughly as the rest of our bodies. Hearing aids are therefore susceptible to issues like moisture and earwax. Also, the affected individual takes some time to adjust to the hearing aids – the lifestyle changes needed to accommodate the use of hearing aids cannot be made immediately.
To ensure that your hearing aids help you with reliable, long-term hearing, it is essential to spend some time on keeping them clean, along with routine maintenance.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can keep your hearing aids in good working order for a longer period.
4 Ways To Take Care Of Your Hearing Aids
While hearing aid manufacturers try their best to make sure that your hearing aids serve their purpose over a longer period of time, the user must also do his/her bit. Carelessness with hearing aids can lead to damages and the need for replacement. Replacements could take a while, and it is hardly convenient to live without hearing aids, especially in the cases of severe or profound hearing loss.
Here are a few ways users can maintain their hearing aids:
1. Get The Right Tools!
Invest in a wax pick and brush for at-home cleaning. Earwax can accumulate in the opening at the end of a hearing aid where the sound comes out, causing muffled sound or feedback (whistling). If not cleaned at regular intervals, it can damage the receiver. The pick and brush can be used to clean it gently. Do not use alcohol or any other cleaning agents to clean the hearing aids.
- Hearing aid cleaning brush: Helpful for all types of hearing aids, these have soft bristles to clean the body, faceplate or sound port of a hearing device.
- Wax pick and wire loop: These tools are designed to get inside hearing aid openings safely to remove stubborn wax and debris.
- MultiTool: These versatile tools combine the brush and wax loop for an all-purpose option.
- Hearing Aid Sanitizing Solution: Use a sanitizing solution recommended by your audiologist to remove excess wax and bacteria from your earmolds.
- Forced Air Blower: If there’s dust or debris in the tubing the connects the ear molds to the hearing aids, you will need to clean them with warm water. Detach the tubing from the hearing aid, and soak it along with the ear molds in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Remove them, dry them completely with a towel, and use the forced air blower to force the excess water from the tubing and the vent of the ear molds.
2. Keep Them Dry…
Remove your hearing aids while bathing or swimming. Both water and soap can damage them. Don’t leave your hearing aids on while applying hairsprays or gels.
Also, it is important to minimise moisture in the hearing aids. There are special hearing aid drying containers that help keep moisture from building up inside the hearing aids and lengthen their life. Make sure that you take the batteries out of the hearing aid before placing them in the storage containers.
Simple silica gel capsule storage containers are usually a part of the default packaging from the company. However, we usually recommend investing in an electronic dry kit for it to be truly effective – in particular for those living in coastal or wet areas. Ask your hearing care professional for more information.
3. Check the batteries regularly!
Hearing aid batteries typically last for about 1-2 weeks, based on the amount of time the user has the hearing aid on.
The life expectancy of the hearing aid batteries depends on:
- The degree of the affected individual’s hearing loss.
- The amount of time the hearing aids are worn.
- The ambient condition of the environment.
- The age of the batteries themselves.
Tip: Before using new (zinc-air) batteries, wait 2-3 minutes for the hearing aids to interact with the air once you’ve taken the sticker off. It is known to extend battery life.
While there are no foolproof ways to extend the life of batteries, turning the hearing devices off when not in use and leave the battery compartment door open overnight can keep the power from being wasted.
Always store them at room temperature, since exposure to heat and humid environments will shorten battery life. Also, batteries shouldn’t be carried loose in pockets, a purse or a backpack where they might come into contact with other metal objects like coins or keys that can short-circuit the hearing aid batteries.
Note: Several companies have now launched rechargeable hearing aids.
4. Change The Wax Filters Periodically!
Along with removing earwax from your device, you will need to replace the wax filter or wax guard periodically. The filter prevents wax from reaching the internal components of the hearing aid and damaging them. This should be done whenever you begin to see build-up on the filter.
Please note that not all devices use the same filters – consult the audiologist to understand which one is compatible with your device.
While regular maintenance is necessary at the user’s end, it is advisable to get the hearing aids cleaned professionally too, as recommended by the user’s hearing care provider. They have vacuums with specialized attachments that gently suck wax from hard to reach areas, and they know how to safely clean vents, microphone screens, windscreens, and receivers.
At Centre For Hearing, we provide the latest technology in hearing aids, based on the expertise of over 50 RCI-certified audiologists.
Call us on +91 9811227492 for a FREE CONSULTATION!