Chances are, you’ve spent enough money on your hearing aid to consider it an investment, not just a casual purchase. So far, it has performed well, allowing you to reconnect with loved ones and participate in conversations you once shied away from. However, because it is so reliable and easy, its easy to take your hearing aid for granted and not give it the care and maintenance it requires.
Hearing aids contain many tiny parts and should be considered sensitive precision instruments. 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. But by performing a few simple care and maintenance steps, you can ensure that your hearing aid lasts and performs well for as long as its designers intended it to. This article is intended as a reminder of some Dos and Don’ts of how to maintain your hearing aid properly.
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.
- Keep your hearing aid away from temperature extremes – cold or hot.
- Don’t use chemical solvents or alcohol to clean the hearing aid.
- Don’t use hairsprays or hair gels while wearing your hearing aid, because they can clog its sensitive microphone and receiver, and in some cases damage its plastic shell.
Protect it from moisture
- Electronic hearing aidsand their electronic components are very 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.
- After bathing, always make sure that your ears are completely dry before reinserting your hearing aid.
- Think about purchasing a hearing aid dehumidifier to prevent moisture buildup. A dehumidifier is relatively inexpensive and will combat the number 1 reason for hearing aid service or repair – moisture.
- To use it, remove the batteries from the unit first, and then store it in the dehumidifier overnight, so that it can remove any accumulation of moisture.
Remove excessive ear wax from your ears
- Ear wax clogging the hearing aid is the second most common cause of them having to be returned for 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.
- Use the brush or other implements provided with the hearing aid to remove any buildup of ear wax from its receiver and microphone areas.
Change the batteries regularly
- Weakened batteries can reduce the functionality of the hearing aid.
- If you allow them to run out completely, the hearing aid may have to be reprogrammed.
- To conserve the batteries, switch the unit off at night or when you’re not using it.
- Also remember to clean the battery contacts using a cotton swab, because dirty contacts can cause the device to malfunction.