How to Care for Your Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are electronic devices that are beneficial to the quality of life of those who use them. However, just like any other electronic device they can stop working. Hearing aids are usually worn for many hours each day, work in relatively warm and moist conditions within our ears, and are exposed to substances such as earwax, skin oils and acids. Given all of the harsh conditions that hearing aids exist in, it is inevitable that one day they will stop working. So, it is very important to properly care for your hearing aids in order to maximize their longevity.
Hearing aid failure can be annoying as well as frustrating to the user. It may also require that the hearing aid(s) be sent back to the manufacturer for repair leaving the user without amplification for extended periods of time. I do not want to give you the impression that hearing aids are fragile and bound to break down, but rather think of hearing aids as an automobile. An automobile needs gas in order to function, tire pressure checks, oil changes, etc. This does not mean that a car or hearing aid will not unexpectedly break down, but proper maintenance will drastically reduce the chances of this happening.
Below is a list of ways to care for your hearing aids:
- Hearing aids should be turned off at night or whenever they are not in use. This will reduce stress on the electrical components from continued uninterrupted usage, as well as extend battery life (which means buying less batteries). Leaving the battery door open when not in use will help internal hearing aid components to dry if there is any moisture build up.
- Keep hearing aids away from sprays such as deodorants, perfumes, hair spray, etc. These can clog up the microphones that are responsible for picking up sounds.
- Take your hearing aids off when swimming or showering. Do not expose your hearing aids to excessive water including heavy rain.
- Use a soft damp (not wet) cloth to clean your hearing aids and only use hearing aid approved cleaning agents. Make use of the cleaning brush provided by your audiologist or hearing aid specialist. Remember, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact a professional.
- After removing the battery tab from a battery let it sit for one minute before inserting into the hearing aid in order to allow it to fully charge and give you the maximum battery life possible.
- Avoid exposing your hearing aids to excessive heat or exteme cold whenever possible. For example, do not expose aids to direct sunlight on hot summer days, and remove aids when using a hair dryer.
- Keep hearing aids out of the reach of children and pets (pets tend to be drawn to the scent of earwax).
- Try to store the hearing aids in the same place every day in order to avoid losing or accidentally damaging them.
For additional information please watch the video below:
Remember, proper maintenance will lead to maximum hearing aid longevity.
Till next time,
Kostas (Gus) Neoclis, Sc.D., CCC-A, Audiologist