You probably paid a great deal of money for your hearing aid. It has given you great value, enabling you to hear the world around you better. But like many things of great value, we sometimes take them for granted, and don’t take care of them the way we should.
Hearing aids are sensitive. 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. 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. What follows are some do’s and don’ts of hearing aid maintenance.
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.
- Keep your hearing aid away from temperature extremes – cold or hot.
- 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.
Keep your hearing aid away from water
- Keeping your hearing aid away from moisture is especially important for digital hearing aid models because of the extensive internal circuitry they contain.
- 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.
- Before you insert your hearing aid, clean and dry your ears as best as possible.
- One of the most common causes of hearing aids having to be returned for service is the buildup of moisture; an inexpensive hearing aid dehumidifier can prevent this, and thus prolong its life.
- Follow the manufacturer instructions for using your dehumidifier. Most of them require that you remove the batteries.
Try to keep your ears free from excess ear wax
- Ear wax clogging the hearing aid is the second most common cause of them having to be returned for service.
- The production of ear wax is a beneficial and natural thing because it protects the sensitive surfaces of our inner ears, but ear wax can be a problem for hearing aids.
- Upon removing your hearing aid, wipe away ear wax using a soft cloth.
- Use the tools provided by the manufacturer to remove ear wax build up on the microphone or receiver areas.
Don’t forget to change the batteries
- One thing that impairs the proper functioning of hearing aids is weak batteries.
- With many hearing aids, if the batteries run down completely, you may have to reprogram the unit.
- To extend battery life, turn the hearing aid off when you are not using it. Double check that it is off when you store it at night.
- Also remember to clean the battery contacts using a cotton swab, because dirty contacts can cause the device to malfunction.