Hearing aids operate in an environment that isn’t considered ideal—inside your hear canal—and are subject to becoming dirty. Because these tiny, sophisticated devices are costly, it is good to practice regular maintenance to make sure that your investment will last, enjoying years of better hearing.
Here are three tips to help you keep your hearing aids in tip-top condition:
1. Use the Proper Tools
A simple brush and wax pick are the essentials for cleaning. The opening end of a hearing aid is susceptible to the accumulation of earwax, causing the sound to give feedback or muffle. If left uncleaned for long periods, the accumulated wax can destroy the receiver. That said, it is imperative to remove your hearing aids and clean them regularly!
2. Start Good Habits
There are a few habits you can start to make sure of your device’s safety. Leaving your hearing aids out before doing a routine or showering, for example, will keep them safe from water damage. Also, put on your hearing aids only after you’ve done applying hair products, such as gels or sprays, to avoid getting it all over your device.
It is also a good habit to clean your hearing aids at the end of every day. During the cleaning process, however, avoid using harsh chemicals like alcohol, as these can harm your device. Don’t forget to take remove them from your ear before you sleep, allowing them to air out and dry.
3. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
If temperatures are below freezing, it is best to remove your hearing aids and leave them at home or somewhere safe from the harsh environments. If the weather is hot and you’re planning to go for a swim, don’t let them sit under the sun as well.
Steps to Cleaning an ITE Model
If your hearing aid is an ITE model, follow these steps. First, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a brush provided by your healthcare professional and scrub the openings of your device, including the microphone ports. Make sure to face the opening downwards so that the bits fall out of the device. Second, use the wax pick to clear any holes that weren’t cleaned out with the brush. Finally, wipe the device with a piece of dry cloth or tissue, removing any leftover debris on the hearing aid.
When cleaning your earmolds, you first have to remove them. If your earmold is discoloured and stained, leaving them soaking in warm, soapy water and wiping them clean daily will help get rid of it. Allow them to dry completely overnight before using it again. Keep in mind that you should never use harsh cleaning chemicals or alcohol on them. If your earmold emits a slight odour, that’s normal. If that odour is intense, however, it could be an indication of the presence of an ear infection. If you notice this, consult with your healthcare professional. If there is any water left inside of the tubings, use a bulb blower to force it out and leave them to dry overnight.
Steps to Clean Any Other Hearing Aid Models
These steps can be applied to clean other hearing aids as well. First, remove the batteries, keeping the battery compartment open to dry. If the device is a rechargeable type, dock them. Whatever the case, make sure to brush clean the battery compartments.
If you’re living in a humid environment, it is best to buy a hearing aid dehumidifier. There are types of humidifiers to help you in such situations. The first one is with a simple jar with desiccant to draw out moisture. The second way uses UV light and air to clean and dry your hearing aids. Both will be sold by your healthcare professional.
We know that it may seem like much work cleaning your hearing aids every day and every night. However, doing so will extend the life of your expensive device, making sure that you’ll get years of worry-free use out of it.
If you’d like to get hearing aids, come on down to Fraser Valley Beltone today! We provide extensive & affordable hearing aids in Langley, BC. Get in touch today to book your appointment.