Caring for Your Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are a major investment, and you’ll want to get the most out of them that you can.
Regular maintenance can help extend their life, and is a must considering the conditions they are exposed to on a regular basis. Moisture, heat, earwax and dirt can all damage electronic components unless cleaned properly.
Routine Maintenance Procedures
- Do: Keep your hearing aid dry. Remove before showering or swimming. Avoid storing in the bathroom.
- Do: Clean your hearing aids regularly. For some individuals this might be daily, while others may be able to clean theirs only once a week.
- Do: Check that the microphone (where the sound goes into the hearing aid) and the speaker (where the sound goes out of the hearing aid) to make sure they are clear of debris. One of the most common causes of a hearing aid not working is wax or dry skin blocking the speaker.
- Don’t: Use water, solvents, cleaning fluids or alcohol to clean your hearing aid as moisture can damage your devices. Use a soft, dry cloth to gently wipe all surfaces. A soft bristled brush works well to remove any debris.
- Do: Keep away from children and animals.
- Don’t: Get hairspray on the hearing aid. The fine particles may clog the microphone and volume control.
- Do: Be consistent about where you store the hearing aids at night. Storing them in the same location helps prevent loss or accidents.
- Do: Leave the repairs to the professions! Screwdrivers, tape or super glue can cause a lot of damage on a very sensitive device.
- Don’t: Forget to have your hearing healthcare professional clean your hearing aids on a regular schedule. This helps extend the life of the hearing aid and helps you hear at your maximum ability.
Despite your best efforts, your hearing aids might still cease functioning normally on occasion. Before taking them in for repair, there are steps you can take at home that might resolve the problem.
- If there is feedback or whistling when your hearing aids are inserted, the devices might have been inserted improperly. Try removing and reinserting to see if that solves the problem. If not, earwax might have accumulated and clogged the ports; clean them thoroughly with your multi-tool or wax pick. If the whistling persists, it is possible that wax or debris in your ear is causing the issue. Contact your hearing healthcare provider to have your ears examine and cleaned.
- If the sound is distorted or unclear, your microphone or speaker might be dirty. Try cleaning those areas to ensure the sound can easily flow in and out of the hearing aid. Inserting a fresh battery is a good idea if the sound continues to be distorted. If the issue persists, you might need your hearing healthcare provider to clean all the components or your device or possibly make programming changes to the device itself.
- If there is no sound at all, make sure the battery isn’t dead. Check for a clogged microphone or sound outlet, or try changing the wax filter.
If these tips do not solve your problem, you’ll have to take your hearing aids in for a check-up appointment. A thorough cleaning can sometimes solve the issue. Many repairs can be completed in-house in a short amount of time at little or no cost. Cost will depend on what is damaged, which replacement parts are needed and whether your device is still under warranty.
Call Hearing Health Centers at (712) 262-7774 for more information or to schedule an appointment.