Proper Maintenance and Care for Your Hearing Aid
Your hearing aid represents a sizeable investment. It has given you great value, enabling you to hear the world around you better. However, because it is so reliable and easy, its easy to take your hearing aid for granted and not give it the care and maintenance it requires.
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. But by performing a few simple care and maintenance steps, you can ensure that your hearing aid lasts and performs well for as long as its designers intended it to. In this article, I point out a few of these simple care and maintenance Dos and Don’ts, to help you to properly maintain your hearing aid.
Always treat your hearing aid with care – Handle it gently, and instead of removing it while standing over a hard floor where it might be damaged if it falls, remove it over a towel on a countertop. Keep your hearing aid away from temperature extremes – cold or hot. Never use any kind of chemical solvents or alcohol when cleaning the unit. If you use hairsprays or gels, apply them before inserting your hearing aid, because they can clog its receiver and microphone or damage its plastic shell.
Never expose the hearing aid to water – Electronic hearing aids and their electronic components are very sensitive to moisture. Before showering, bathing or swimming, always remove your hearing aid, and when cleaning it do not use a dripping wet cloth. When not wearing your hearing aid – such as at night – store it in a dry, clean place. After bathing, always make sure that your ears are completely dry before reinserting your hearing aid. Think about purchasing a hearing aid dehumidifier to prevent moisture buildup. A dehumidifier is relatively inexpensive and will combat the number 1 reason for hearing aid service or repair – moisture. Follow the manufacturer instructions for using your dehumidifier. Most of them require that you remove the batteries.
Remove excessive ear wax from your ears – Becoming clogged with ear wax is the second most common reason that hearing aids require service. 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.
Make sure to change the batteries often – 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.