You could be a new Hearing Aid user or have been using Hearing Aids for some years, proper care and regular maintenance will extend the life of your Hearing Aids and reduce instances of repairs. Different types of Hearing Aids should be maintained as per the service manual, though the basic maintenance is the same. All you need to do is follow these simple at home Hearing Aid maintenance tips to keep them in good working condition for years to come.
Hearing Aid Maintenance and Care Tasks
1. Wipe Your Hearing Aids Clean With A Dry Cloth or Tissue
Water, Moisture and dust are the 3 biggest enemies of electronic devices. Sweating is very common in tropical Countries or with people working in factories and workshops. For people who sweat a lot it is advisable to use Hearing aid sleeves made from water resistant spandex material. At the end of the day it is advisable to clean the Hearing Aids externally with a soft dry cloth or a soft tissue.
Caution: Do not use any spray or solvent to clean the Hearing Aid.
2. Use A Stay Dry Box Or An Electric Dehumidifier
Before retiring for the night put your Hearing Aids in a Stay Dry Box or an Electric Dehumidifier. It is advisable to remove the battery and leave the battery compartment open, this allows the air to circulate inside the Hearing Aid and remove the moisture settled on the circuit board.
What Is A Dehumidifier?
A Dehumidifier is a device which removes the moisture collected in the Hearing Aid due to Humidity or sweat.
What Are The Different Types Of Dehumidifiers.
There are 2 types of Dehumidifiers which are commonly used.
- The simple type uses Silica Gel granules which absorbs the moisture which has seeped into the Hearing Aid. Most of the Hearing Aid manufacturers offer a dehumidifier box with Silica Gel sachets or pellets. The Silica Gel is colour indicating, once the colour changes it has to be replaced. Replace the Silica Gel as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- The Electrical Dehumidifier is more effective as it blows hot air resulting in evaporation of moisture, it also draws out the moisture filled air.
Do not expose your Hearing Aids to rain or use it in a shower.
3. Check The Hearing Aid For Dirt Or Wax Accumulation
If your hearing Aid output has reduced, first check whether the opening of the Ear Mould or the opening of the ITC or CIC is blocked. Chances are that dirt from the hand or Earwax has blocked the opening thereby reducing the output. Earwax is a natural secretion of the Ear, it is advisable to clean your ears regularly.
Change Wax Guard Regularly
If you are using an “In The Ear” Hearing Aid, the Earwax or Dirt blocking the opening cannot be cleaned or removed. You have to replace the Wax guard, every manufacturer provides additional wax guards for replacement. In case you are unable to change yourself please visit your dispenser.
Change Microphone Guard if blocked
Some Hearing Aids also have microphone guards. These microphone guards are also replaceable. Your Hearing aid dispenser will help you source the guards.
4. Check The Hearing Aid Batteries
If you are a regular Hearing Aid user, you are more or less aware as to how long the batteries last. Always keep spare batteries at hand. In case you are not using the Hearing Aids for a few days, it is advisable to remove the batteries and store them elsewhere. A leaked battery can damage the internal circuit of the Hearing Aid.
Improve your knowledge by reading this article on all you want to know about Hearing aid Batteries
It is important to insert the battery the right way keeping the positive and the negative polarity in mind.
Watch this informational video on insertion of batteries.
5. Keep Your Hearing Aids Away From Heat
Hearing Aids have sensitive parts which are responsible for the sound quality, keep your Hearing Aids in a cool, dry place so that they keep working flawlessly.
Do keep the following tips in mind.
- Do not keep the Hearing Aids in direct Sunlight.
- Do not keep the Hearing Aids in the Glove compartment of the car while the Air Conditioner is off or the car is parked in the Sun.
- Do not use a Hair dryer if you are wearing your Hearing Aids.
6. Keep Your Hearing Aids Away From Sprays, Powder Etc.
Avoid use of the following while you are wearing the Hearing Aids
- Hair Sprays or Hair gels
- Spray Perfumes or Deodorants
- Shaving creams or shaving foams
- Insect repellents.
Avoid all sprays or fine dust like powder which can block the Hearing Aid openings or have solvents in them. Aerosol spray cans contain chemical solvents.
7. Keep Some Simple Cleaning Tools Handy
Keep these simple cleaning tools handy at home.
Hand Air Pump
A simple rubber pump, easy to use. Helps in blowing away the dust.
Hearing Aid Battery Tester
Very simple to operate, insert the battery. It will show whether the battery is good to be used.
Hearing Aid Cleaning Brush
Simple brush, clean the external part of the hearing aid, especially the In the Ear type as Earwax may stick to the outer part of the hearing aid.
Magnet Stick or Magnet Pen
Small Hearing Aids have tiny batteries, at times it’s difficult to hold them and insert, this simple tool will hold the battery which can be easily placed in the battery compartment.
Wax Loop Tool or Stick
The tool has a wire loop, this wire loop can remove the wax from the ear mould opening, keeping the mould clean,
CAUTION: Not to be used in Hearing aids which have Wax Guards.
Vent Cleaning Tool
Some Hearing aids have vents, vent is a tiny opening for sound balancing. The tool can be used to clean and ensure that the vent is not blocked.
Hearing Aids have to be used and handled with care, after all they are an extended part of your ear. Avoid dropping them or keeping them carelessly on a hard surface. At night remove the battery, most Hearing Aids use the battery door as an On – Off switch. With proper handling and care your Hearing aids can give you years of trouble free service.