If you wear a hearing aid, it’s important to establish good habits and get into a routine of cleaning and taking care of your device. Regularly cleaning hearing aids helps extend their lifespan and avoids malfunctions from occurring. Don’t know where to start? Follow our list of tips and suggestions when it comes to cleaning and caring for hearing aid devices.
1) Be cautious with your devices
First and foremost, you should be taking good care of your hearing aids and handling them with extra care. Dropping your hearing aids can damage the battery and the device itself. So, make sure to have a firm grip when you are inserting or removing hearing aids.
2) Keep Away from Water
Before swimming or showering, make a note to remove your hearing aids and store them in a safe and dry place. Also, try to avoid wearing hearing aids when you’re using products like hair spray, gel, etc. If these products come into contact with hearing aids, it can cause damage. If the situation arises where water seeps into your hearing aid, quickly grab a dry towel and attempt to clean the device gently.
3) Keep out of Reach of Children & Pets
Don’t make the mistake of leaving your hearing aids laying around for your dog or child to potentially take and misplace. Be smart and keep hearing aids somewhere safe where they won’t be able to get their hands (or paws) on.
4) Avoid Cold / Hot Temperatures
Winter brings cold and wet weather which can be very harmful to hearing aids. Make sure to bundle up and wear layers (especially a hat) when outdoors. If you enjoy winter sports and activities like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, curling, it is best to leave your hearing aids in someplace dry and warm. Exposing hearing aids to freezing temperatures for an extended period of time can kill the battery.
Hot temperatures can also cause damage. Never use a heating device or hot tools when you are trying to clean or dry off your hearing aids. Using a tool such as a hair dryer can cause the hearing aid to melt, distort, or completely stop working.
Like anything in life, it’s important to get into a routine and establish good habits. Cleaning and maintaining your hearing aids needs to be something you include in the things you do everyday. Doing it once a week, once every 2 weeks, or once a month is not enough. According to the FDA, some general tips for cleaning and maintaining hearing aids include :
- Avoid using solvents, alcohol, or water on hearing aids because they can cause damage to the internal electronics of the hearing aid.
- Avoid exposing hearing aids to heat because this can damage them. For example, leaving them in sun or in the car, placing them in or near a microwave or conventional oven, or using a hair dryer on them.
- Turn off your hearing aids when not in use.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
Cleaning tips for different types of hearing aids :
Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids :
Behind the ear hearing aids wrap around the back of a persons ear and are suitable for various types of hearing loss. According to the FDA, this style is often chosen for young children because it can accommodate various ear mold types, which can be replaced when the child grows. In addition, behind-the-ear devices are easy to clean.
- Clean the tubing with warm water without exposing other parts to the water
- Remove the ear mold from the hook
- Use a brush to clean the mold and remove debris with a wax pick
In-the-ear (ITE) / in-the-canal (ITC) aids
In-the-ear hearing aid fills the outer part of the ear and are most suitable for those that suffer from mild to severe hearing loss. In-the-canal devices are very similar to ITC, but they are much smaller and less visible. ITC are lightweight and take the ears natural shape. This option is most suitable for people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Cleaning Tips :
- Brush the receiver tubing, vent opening, and microphone port to keep them free of wax and debris.
- Use a wax pick to remove any remaining debris.
- Wipe the outside surface with a soft, dry cloth.
Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) aids
Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids have an open fit, so they do not entirely block the ear canal and are suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Cleaning Tips :
- Brush the device to remove any debris.
- Use the thumbs to massage the dome tip to remove any stubborn material.
- Wipe down the hearing aid with a dry, soft cloth.
If you wear hearing aids, it’s very important to regularly clean and take care of your device. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment at Lake Shore Audiology for maintenance and any repairs. If you have any questions or need assistance with cleaning your device, our expert audiologists will provide you with proper treatment and answer any questions that you may have. Call us today at (716) 674-4188.
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