Caring for Your Hearing Aid

looking over hearing aids

Congratulations, you’ve chosen to do something about your hearing loss.  Here are a few tips to make sure your hearing aids work as well as they possibly can, day in and day out!

Moisture/Water

Water is an enemy of hearing aids. Moisture can destroy the microphone and the receiver of the hearing aid, clog the sound opening or earmold tubing, and cause corrosion in the aid. Moisture in the hearing aid can create a static sound or can cause the hearing aid to operate intermittently or not at all. Moisture comes from a variety of sources, including perspiration, high humidity, and direct submersion in water. To avoid the damaging effects of moisture, follow these tips:

  • Be particularly careful when wearing a hearing aid outdoors in extreme cold or wet and rainy weather. Use an umbrella or hat when it is raining.
  • Never wear the aid while taking a bath, shower, swimming, or in a sauna.
  • Make sure that your hair and ears are dry before you put on your hearing aid.
  • Remove the hearing aid when at the hairdresser or barber.
  • If perspiration is excessive, avoid wearing the hearing aid during strenuous activity and in hot, humid weather. A protective wrapping material is available for behind-the-ear hearing aids.
  • If the hearing aid gets wet, it is essential to remove the battery promptly and let the hearing aid dry out for several hours. Use a Dri-Aid kit to facilitate drying of the hearing aid. Do not use a hot air dryer, oven, clothes dryer, microwave, or another source of heat to dry the hearing aid.
  • For best results in prolonging the life of a hearing aid, store the instrument overnight in a tightly closed container with a silica gel packet to absorb moisture. When storing the hearing aid with silica gel crystals, be sure to remove the battery and leave it outside of the container.

Temperature

Excessive heat and cold may also damage the hearing aid. Avoid storing your hearing aid near sources of heat or cold, such as a radiator, near a window, or in the car.

Dropping Your Hearing Aid

Hearing aids can suffer internal and/or external damage if dropped on a hard surface. This possibility can be avoided in the following ways:

  • Change the battery in your hearing aid over the counter or bed. Place a towel over a hard surface while you’re changing the battery just in case.
  • Avoid inserting or removing your hearing aid while you’re moving around.
  • Store your hearing aid in a cushioned case.
  • Avoid storing your hearing aid outside of your case in your pocket or purse.

Cosmetics

Hairspray, perfume, cologne, bath powder, aftershave, and shaving cream can clog the microphone opening and build up debris in and on your hearing aid. Be sure to take off your hearing aids or cover them before applying these products.

Animals

Dogs and cats (as well as other animals) love hearing aids! Two things cause animals to be attracted to hearing aids: 1) the high-pitched squealing sound of feedback, and 2) the smell of your skin oils.

Be sure to safely store your hearing aid in a case or Dri-aid kit that is out of reach of any pets, and remember to do this as well when you are a guest in homes with pets.

Batteries

IMPORTANT: Hearing aid batteries are toxic. Keep them away from children and pets.  They are harmful if swallowed.

Care and use of batteries:

  • Always carry extra batteries for your hearing aid as batteries tend to die quickly, sometimes unexpectedly
  • Do not keep extra batteries loose in your pocket or purse with other coins or metal objects
  • Store batteries in a drawer, not in the refrigerator
  • For longer battery life, open the battery compartment or remove the battery from your hearing aid every night
  • Do not remove the tab on the hearing aid battery until you plan to use the battery
  • Watch for corrosion on the battery.  If you notice a white powdery substance on the battery, replace it immediately. Also, check the battery contacts within the hearing aid to assure they are free of corrosion
  • Dry battery contacts with a cotton swab in cases of humid weather or heavy perspiration.

Cleaning Your Hearing Aids

Debris and earwax can cause a multitude of problems for hearing aids resulting in a distorted or dead hearing aid. Inspect the hearing aid after removing it from your ear and clean it as often as necessary.

Hearing Aids Worn in the Ear

Keep the receiver tubing (the sound opening at the end of the hearing aid) and vent opening free of wax by using a wax brush, usually provided with the hearing aid.

Gently brush across the receiver opening to loosen and brush away debris and wax. The opening to the microphone port also needs to be kept free of debris. You can brush across this opening but never stick anything sharp (pins, toothpicks, etc.) down in the microphone port, or you may damage the microphone.

Some custom hearing aids today have wax guards that need to be changed periodically. Follow the instructions given by your hearing healthcare professional in changing this guard. If the wax guard inadvertently is removed while the aid is being cleaned it will not affect the function of the hearing aid itself.

To clean the outer surface of the hearing aid, wipe it with a soft, dry cloth.

Hearing Aids Worn Behind the Ear

The hearing aid itself can be cleaned with a soft, dry cloth or tissue.

To clean the earmold, first, remove it from the ear hook of the hearing aid and place the hearing aid in a dry, protected place. Gently wash the earmold in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Shake out excess moisture and allow the earmold to dry overnight or use a tubing air blower to remove water from the tubing. Be sure that the earmold and tubing are dry before reattaching the earmold to the hearing aid.

Tubing will shrink and harden with time. It is important to maintain sound quality and performance to replace the tubing when this occurs. Your hearing healthcare professional can replace the tubing for you.

Always remember that we are here to help.  If you need us for any reason, have a question or want to say hi, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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