Why is the Daily Care and Cleaning of a Hearing Aid Necessary?
As with any investment, you will need to care for and clean your hearing aids regularly to keep them well-maintained. They are precision instruments which will eventually start to lose their effectiveness if you don't, and you could reduce their lifespan. This will be a great inconvenience to you, not only practically when your hearing aid is no longer working properly, but financially too, as you will have to buy a replacement.
A hearing instrument specialist (HIS) will recommend the best methods of cleaning your hearing aid to you, which could include the use of an ear-cleaning kit that you can buy over the counter from your local pharmacist or your HIS.
You will also be advised to make semi-regular appointments with your HIS, as while you can do much to clean and care for your hearing aid yourself, your HIS has access to specialist tools to properly clean your hearing aid. They will also make sure everything is working as it should and will advise you further on the best ways to maintain and maximize the lifespan of your hearing aid.
Of course, you should also clean your hearing aids for hygienic reasons, because a dirty, wax-encrusted hearing aid is not just unsightly, but it could also result in an ear infection.
Steps to cleaning your hearing aid
Speak to your HIS for professional advice on how to clean your hearing aid. He or she will suggest the right brushes and wax picks to use and will show you how to properly use them. You will also be advised as to the best cleaning cloths to use, as some, especially those tissues that contain aloe or lotions, can damage your hearing aid.
When cleaning your hearing aid, the following steps are advised:
- Wash your hands so you don't get extra dirt and grime onto your hearing aid: You will only need to wash your device again if you do get it dirty again from the grease and other contaminants from your fingers.
- To protect your hearing aid battery from damage, remove it from your device.
- Clean off any wax that has deposited on the microphone with a brush and wax pick: These are usually found in ear-cleaning kits, so there is no need to use any other items from your home unless your HIS has told you that it is ok to do so. Be careful when cleaning, as one false move could damage your hearing aid's fragile parts.
- Gently clean around the hearing aid casing and brush off any deposits: If your hearing is fitted with tubing, use the device to clean the tube with the tools recommended by your HIS.
- Remove the earmold from the device and clean it with warm water: While this should be done daily, it is also worth soaking it in warm and soapy water once a week. After cleaning your earmold, leave it to dry thoroughly before wearing your hearing aid again.
We have only gone into the cleaning process in brief here. Your HIS will give you more detailed advice, so heed what they have to say.
How often should you clean your hearing aid?
The more often you clean your hearing aid, the longer it will last. When wax and dirt become encrusted, the components in your device can become damaged and it might malfunction. Your hearing aid will also become less effective if wax is blocking up the microphone and other small parts. Therefore, it's important to clean your hearing aid daily.
However, cleaning your hearing aid can be a time-consuming process, so you don't need to give it a deep clean every night unless there is an excess buildup of wax and grime. Daily, be sure to give your device a basic clean using the advice given to you by your HIS and give it a deep clean at least once a week.
When you don't need to wear your hearing aid during the day, store it in the case that your HIS will supply to you. This will minimize the risk of your hearing aid becoming dirty, and it will protect it from any wear and tear.
When storing your hearing aid, remove the batteries to extend their lifespan. However, be sure to store your device and batteries at room temperature and away from those areas that are particularly hot and moist. Your device will become damaged, otherwise.
For more advice on how to care for and clean your hearing aids, get in touch with us here at the Center for Better Hearing. We provide you with the best care possible, so give us a ring at 510-768-7091 and speak to one of our friendly professionals.