With hearing aids costing upwards of $1,000 per unit and being compared to price ranges for Macs and motorcycles, it pays to take care of them so they can last as long as possible. Hearing aids are in use for many hours of the day and are exposed to all types of environments and substances on the skin’s surface.
When you’re wearing hearing aids for the first time, taking care of your hearing aids might feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to keep things easy.
Follow these seven tips and establish a routine to maintain and get the most out of your healthy hearing aids.
The Best Tips for Hearing Aid Care
1. Keep Your Hearing Aids Clean by Reducing Dirt Buildup
Hearing aid inputs can become blocked with particles of dirt. When handling your hearing aid, make sure your fingers and hands are clean of any dirt or food residue.
If your skin is particularly oily, handle the hearing aids with a tissue whenever possible. Keep hearing aids out of the way of powdered body products, such as makeup, since the fine particles can also clog the input.
If you notice your hearing aids are dirty, an easy way to remove bacteria is to clean them with a wipe. You’ll want to avoid using any wipes that contain alcohol. Alcohol has harsh chemicals which can harm your hearing aids. Toilettes designed to clean hearing aids are often your safest bet.
2. Make Sure Your Hearing Aids Stay Dry
Since hearing aids depend on electricity to function, it is important to keep them away from moisture. Remove your hearing aids when you take a shower, bathe, swim or do water sports.
Don’t keep them in the bathroom when showering, since the high humidity can also cause damage. Clean them with dry cloths instead of wet ones, or chemical cleaners. Moisture can also build up in the ear canal, so to avoid this issue remove your hearing aids at night.
One of the most common ways to keep your hearing aids dry is to use a dedicated dry box. Dry boxes extract excess moisture from your hearing aids. This minimizes hearing aid damage.
3. Reduce Earwax Buildup for Improved Hearing Aid Function
While men usually produce more earwax than women, the amount really varies from person to person, and it’s important to know how to manage your earwax.
Regularly clean your ears by spraying water directly into the ear canal, making sure not to apply too much water pressure and that you don’t have a perforated eardrum.
Your physician or audiologist can also clean them for you. Inspect your hearing aid for wax as well, consulting with your audiologist about how to clean it properly. Ask about buying wax guards as well.
4. Avoid Aerosols and Other Harmful Chemicals that can Damage Your Hearing Aids
Spray paint, spray deodorant, hair sprays, and most aerosols contain chemicals that leave permanent residues that build up over time. Make sure to keep your hearing aid out of the way when spraying any of these products.
5. Open the Battery Door When You’re Not Using Your Hearing Device
To get the best battery life, deactivate your hearing aid when you will not be using it for long periods of time, such as overnight. There is no need to completely remove the battery; simply open the battery door and leave the battery inside.
In a guide to hearing aid care compiled by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the authors note that hearing aid users sometimes turn their devices on and off throughout the day to save battery rather than leaving them on continuously. Besides the fact that this practice has not been shown to save battery life, it also may be extremely dangerous for the hearing impaired if they happen to turn off their device at the wrong moment.
6. Store Your Hearing Aids Somewhere Safe and Away from Children and Pets
When not using your hearing aids, it is very important to store them in a safe and protected location, away from children and pets. It’s a good idea to buy a case for your hearing aid, so you can store it without having to worry about dirt.
7. Give Your Hearing Aids Regular “Check-Ups”
Hearing aids need check-ups, too. Make sure to assess your hearing aid function daily and note any feedback – high-pitched, whistling sounds –emitting from your hearing aid while they are in your ears. Keep a regular schedule of appointments with your audiologist to keep your device in shape.
Hearing aids are bound to have issues. But these tips have been recommended by researchers and proven to maintain healthy hearing aids as best as possible. So keep them handy – you owe it to yourself.