Your hearing aid represents a sizeable investment. And it has given you great value, enabling you to hear the world around you better. But as with many things, we sometimes take the things that bring the most meaning to our lives for granted, and forget to take proper care of them.
Hearing aids are sensitive. Their miniaturized electronics don’t respond well to rough handling or to moisture, and both its microphone and its receiver can become clogged with dust, dirt, or ear wax, reducing their ability to work properly. However, with regular care and maintenance, your hearing aid can last for many years, and continue to perform its function as well as it was designed 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.
- Always treat your hearing aid gently, and remove it only when standing over a padded surface so that if you accidentally drop it, it will not fall onto the hard floor.
- Always avoid extremes of either heat or cold.
- Never use any kind of chemical solvents or alcohol when cleaning the unit.
- 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.
- The digital circuitry in your hearing aid is particularly sensitive to moisture.
- Always remove it before showering, swimming, or bathing, and never try to clean it with a dripping wet cloth.
- 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.
- Consider investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier; one of the most common reasons that hearing aids have to be returned for servicing is the buildup of moisture, so an inexpensive dehumidifier can greatly extend the life of your precision instrument. 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 excess ear wax.
- The second most common reason that hearing aids are returned for servicing is that they become clogged with ear wax. Ear wax is a natural thing, and is beneficial in that it helps to protect our sensitive ear canals, but it can be tough on hearing aids.
- Every night, when you remove your aid, wipe its case clean with 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.