You count on your hearing aids every day to provide you with the hearing quality you have come to enjoy. In the rare instances when your devices malfunction, it can be a difficult few days or weeks while you wait for them to be repaired. Through some preventative maintenance and proper care, you can extend the life of your devices and reduce the chance of them malfunctioning.
Here are some helpful tips that will ensure you get the most out of your devices:
1. Avoid moisture and store in a dry place
Your hearing aids contain some very sophisticated technology and circuitry in a tiny shell. When it’s exposed to moisture it can cause serious damage. Although hearing aids are now being made to be water resistant it’s recommended that you still remove them when showering or swimming. If they do come in contact with water, dry them immediately with a towel. Never attempt to dry them with a hair drier or other heated device, since the high heat can damage them.
If you live in a humid area, you may want to consider storing your devices in a specialized hearing aid dehumidifier.
2. Change hearing aid batteries often
Hearing aid batteries can cause damage to your devices if left in for a long time. The trapped moisture can cause the batteries to corrode and damage the devices. Remember to open the battery door when devices are not being used. If, for some reason, you will not be using your devices for a couple days, it’s advised that you temporarily remove the batteries.
Also when changing out batteries, remember to clean the battery contacts in your devices. This can be done by gently wiping them down with a dry cotton swab. If the battery contacts on your devices are dirty, it can create a poor connection and lower performance.
3. Keep devices free of earwax
Earwax is one of the leading causes of decreased performance in hearing aids. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to avoid having your devices come in contact with earwax. That’s why it’s important to take time and clean them frequently.
After each day of wearing your hearing aids, take a dry cotton swab or soft toothbrush and gently remove any earwax or debris that may be on the device. Remember to clean both the receiver and microphone.
4. Change your wax filter
Along with removing earwax from your device, you will periodically need to replace the wax filter or wax guard. The filter prevents wax from reaching the internal components of the hearing aid and damaging them. This should be done whenever you begin to see build-up on the filter.
It’s important to know that not all devices use the same filters. Your local hearing healthcare provider can advise you which one to use and show you how to change it for your specific device.
5. Always handle with care
Although hearing devices are far more durable than they once were, they still should be handled with care. Always hold them securely to avoid dropping them. When changing the batteries or cleaning them, set them on a soft surface such as a towel.
When they aren’t in use, store them in a safe place. They should never be kept in reach of children or animals.
6. Schedule routine cleanings
While cleaning and taking care of your devices at home can greatly improve the life of your hearing aids, you should still bring them in to be properly cared for by a professional. Think of it like taking your car into the mechanic; they may be able to spot something that is in need of repair that you may have missed. They’re also able to make adjustments to your devices to better suit your needs.
You should schedule a device cleaning with your local hearing healthcare professional every 4-6 months or immediately if you suspect there’s something wrong.
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