Debris and moisture can destroy your hearing aids. Generally, hearing aids last for three to five years as long as there hasn’t been any deterioration in your hearing abilities.
Here is some advice on keeping your hearing aids clean, dry, and still functioning so they can last as long as possible.
Keep the Devices Clean
Earwax protects the inside parts of our ears from foreign debris, harm, and infections. It can also buildup and obstruct the mechanics of a hearing aid, by becoming clogged in the microphone or receiver.
In some instances, wearing hearing aids can cause people to produce more earwax. Earwax is meant to prevent foreign objects from coming in contact with the eardrum. By placing a hearing device in your ear, your body may view it as something that they need to attack with more ear wax.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) their guidelines when dealing with earwax state that those who wear hearing aids have a higher risk for impacted earwax, which is when an excessive amount of wax builds up in the ear.
It’s important to clean and maintain your hearing aids each day in order to keep them from being coated with too much earwax, dust, or debris.
You can use a cleaning brush, or even an old toothbrush to lightly clean off any earwax or other foreign matter from the hearing aid. You should also open the battery compartment and brush off any debris found inside. Different hearing aid devices may require certain directions and tools for cleaning. Your hearing instrument specialist can give you further recommendations on taking care of your device.
If there is a wax guard or wax trap (in-the-ear, receiver-in-ear, or in-the-canal hearing aids may have this), they should be changed on a daily basis in order to avoid earwax blockage, which can restrict the quality of sound. Your hearing instrument specialist should tell you how frequently to replace them, and demonstrate how to do so. He or she may supply replacements, or you can purchase them online.
Keep the Hearing Devices Dry
Moisture and hearing aids do not go together. The nuts and bolts of a hearing device are exposed to weather, sweat, or dirt in order to harness sounds. As a result, moisture can quickly find its way inside and ruin a hearing aid.
Use a secured case when you go to the pool or a sauna. If it’s a place where you would not take your phone, it wouldn’t be a place where you would bring your hearing aids.
When you are getting ready for your day, complete your cleaning and grooming routine before placing your hearing aids in your ears. This will help prevent any possible contact with water, hairspray, or hair gel.
Never store your hearing aids in the bathroom. Steam can permeate into the devices and you may accidentally get them wet or drop them in water.
Store the devices in a dry aid kit or dry storage kit overnight. You may use desiccant and a container, or an electronic accessory that disperses air around the aid. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist about getting one.
If your hearing devices get wet, you should use a dry storage kit to dry them. Do not use a hair dryer or place your hearing aids in the microwave or oven - your hearing device will get damaged.
It is recommended that you wear your hearing aids all day, if possible. If you remove them in the middle of the day, you may forget where they are, and they might accidentally go through the washing machine. It’s also important to keep your hearing aids away from your pets. They could chew up the devices.
Advice for Troubleshooting
If your hearing aids are not working properly, thoroughly clean and dry them.
Intermittent sounds or noises full of static could indicate that moisture has reached the batteries. You may be able to resolve this problem by inserting new batteries. Feedback noises from your hearing aids are usually a sign of excessive earwax, so you may need to get your ears examined.
If none of these tips work, contact your hearing instrument specialist. Faulty parts can be replaced in the office, or sent to a manufacturer for repairs.