Hearing aids are pretty pricey and, just like with a laptop or any expensive gadget, care and maintenance are key to their long-term functioning. Prevention is better than cure, and repairing a hearing aid is very costly; thus it’s essential to keep hearing aids in excellent condition. 

Hearing devices are susceptible to numerous factors, including the build-up of wax, physical damage, chemicals, and moisture. Read on to find out how to avoid a plethora of problems associated with these factors and more, and tips for caring for your hearing aids.

Cleaning Your Hearing Aids

Before cleaning anything, it's important to have clean and hygienic hands; which is also pertinent when removing and inserting the hearing aid. This is because germ-ridden fingers could transfer bacteria to the hearing aid, resulting in a rather horrible ear infection. The hearing aid tubes should be cleaned weekly along with the external surfaces using alcohol-free wet wipes. Be careful not to allow moisture to enter the device. Apart from this, your hearing aid should undergo servicing every 6 months.

Keeping Wax at Bay

Wearing hearing aids for long hours, without cleaning them or your ears, can lead to wax buildup. This not only decreases the amplification of sound delivered by your hearing aid, but also causes severe damage to the device.

Wax can cause problems in the following three parts of a hearing aid:

  • Outer Shell
    • Buildup of wax can hinder the function of parts located here, like volume control buttons. 
  • Microphone
    • This is not only vital to proper functioning of the device, but is also the most delicate part.
  • Receiver 
    • Here, wax buildup can lead to malfunction of the device; and is the second most common cause of such.

Now, your next question is probably: how can wax be safely removed from a hearing aid?

The answer is simply a wax pick - preferably with a brush. This can be used to effectively clean the microphone and receiver, which, if clogged, can cause complete failure of the hearing device. An expert tip is to clean your hearing aid daily with a soft, dry cloth at bedtime, when it is not in use. This way you will be delighted with a good-as-new hearing aid every morning.

Wax pick tool for removal of wax, for care and maintenance of digital hearing aids

Wax pick tool for the proper care of hearing aids

Keep Your Hearing Aid Dry

Though many hearing aids claim to be waterproof, in reality very few actually are. Hearing aids can suffer great damage when coming into contact with moisture. This is because they are electronic devices and the circuitry can easily be damaged by water. Thus, it’s essential that you remove your hearing aids before stepping into a bath or swimming pool; and should they come into contact with water, it’s critical that you do not attempt to dry them using heat but instead a towel or cloth. So, hair dryers are a no-go as they produce heat that can cause irreversible damage to hearing aid devices. 

Humidity can also affect the proper functioning of your hearing aid, therefore you should consider storing your device in a dehumidifier if you live in a humid environment. 

Use a Cover For Added Protection

Following the last tip, it's important to stress here how helpful a cover can be to the health of your hearing aid. Whether you live in extreme weather conditions or are likely to forget to remove your hearing aid when getting into a sauna room, a cover can protect your device from the detrimental effects of water, humidity and the sun. Also, never leave your hearing aid exposed to direct sunlight for considerable periods of time, it could leave you without a hearing aid. 

Store Your Hearing Aids Appropriately

Hearing aids are small devices, particularly digital hearing aids and PSAPs; which, for aesthetic reasons, is generally how users like them. But, this comes with risk of damage. They can easily fall and go unnoticed because of their small size, and be subsequently trampled on. For this reason, it’s important to store them away properly; not on a poolside, for example. Using a storage box is helpful, like the Hear-Hi Storage Case which is strong and more visible than the tiny digital hearing amplifiers it holds. It also comes with an LED-light, so that you don’t misplace your hearing earbuds as you store them at bedtime.

The Hear+Hi rechargeable digital hearing amplifiers with storage box
Hear+Hi hearing amplifiers’ storage and charging box

 

Clean the Tips of Your Hearing Device Regularly

Hearing aid tips, also called domes, are the mushroom-shaped bits at the end of the device; which insert into the ear and protect the hearing aid. They act as a shield, trapping dirt and preventing it from entering and damaging the hearing aid. But, as the hearing aid domes become clogged, the quality of sound delivered to the user decreases. Thus, the efficiency of the hearing aid is compromised; which is why these tips should be clean every 4 to 6 weeks. To clean the hearing aids tips, remove them from the hearing aid and clean the tips with warm soapy water using mild detergent such as dish soap.

Remove Hearing Aids When Getting Ready

This may seem like an odd one, but it is in fact to protect hearing devices from chemical damage. Hairspray and other such products act also as sources of moisture, and can get inside the hearing aid, causing damage. So, just wait until your hairspray is set before you put on your hearing aid, and avoid dousing your head with perfume after it’s in.

Periodically Clean the Battery Contacts

With hearing aid batteries, it’s important to stress that the battery door should always be closed to ensure that your device functions properly. But, also, the battery compartment can become dirty and so, the battery contacts can face corrosion. This disturbs the supply of energy to your device, decreasing its sound enhancing capability. It is therefore important to include the battery care and its port in the regular cleaning of your hearing aid; they should be cleaned with a soft dry cloth, after removing batteries from the device.

Through following these handy tips you can maintain and care for your hearing aids to avoid the need for repeated repairs or even emergency hearing aid repairs - which are very costly. Instead, you can enjoy healthy hearing!

FAQs

How Often Do Hearing Aids Need to be Cleaned?

Hearing devices should be cleaned at least once a week at home, and serviced by a professional every 6 months. It is also recommended to clean hearing aids daily with a soft cloth at bedtime.

What are Wax Guards?

They are small plastic sheets designed to protect your hearing aid from ear wax build up and clogging. Most hearing aids come with wax guards. 

How Often Should I Change the Filter in my Hearing Aid?

The filter can become clogged with earwax over time; and so, the filter, or wax guard, should be replaced every month.

Can you use alcohol to clean hearing aids?

Liquids can damage the electronics of your hearing device and cause it to malfunction. Therefore, the use of alcohol, water or any other liquid to clean your hearing aid is strongly advised against. Instead, you should adopt the use of a soft, dry cloth to clean your hearing aid.