When the use of one of our key senses is lost, changes and accommodations must be made to adapt to life safely. People with hearing problems, for example, depend on hearing aids in their daily lives. Some aids fit completely in the ear - others behind the ear. Some fill the ear canal - others only partially. But no matter their shape, just like any piece of equipment, a hearing aid requires regular maintenance and occasional repairs.
The good news is that many problems with hearing aids can be prevented with daily maintenance and proper care. Here are some general daily care tips to get the most out of your hearing aids:
- Do not get them wet. Always remove hearing aids before bathing, showering, or swimming. Keep them away from liquids at all times.
- Clean your hearing aids properly. For behind-the-ear hearing aids, the earmold should be periodically washed with mild soap and water. The processor should only be wiped down with a dry, soft cloth. On the other hand, hearing aids that fit in the ear itself should never be washed - only wiped down with a soft, dry cloth. This will ensure the electronics in the aid are not damaged. If you notice wax building up on your hearing aids, remove it using a soft brush. Never use toothpicks, pins, or other sharp objects to remove wax.
- Apply hairspray, gels and creams before putting in hearing aids. These products can actually block the ports in hearing aids, causing malfunctions. Applying these products before using a hearing aid, and allowing them to dry, will help you avoid this malfunction.
- Avoid hot surfaces. Do not place hearing aids on a heat source such as a radiator or hair dryer, and never leave them in the sun. Also, never place them in the microwave or oven to remove moisture! Instead, use the provided dry-aid kit to care for your hearing aids.
- Be careful not to drop your hearing aids. Dropping your hearing aids can potentially cause damage, rendering the aids useless. If an accident happens, and there’s any cracking or hardening of your hearing aid tubing, it is best to bring it to your audiologist. They can examine the tool for serious damage and ensure that it’s working properly at all times.
- Store hearing aids properly overnight. Never wear a hearing aid while sleeping. And before going to bed, the battery door should be opened as part of good battery care guidelines.
- Store hearing aid batteries at room temperature. Warm or cold temperatures may cause the sticker piece on the battery to dissolve and detach, causing the battery to malfunction, whether by failing to hold or a charge or simply not working altogether.
- Have your hearing aids checked every 6 months. Even when adhering to good care guidelines, natural wear and tear can affect your hearing aids. That’s why having hearing aids checked by your doctor on a biannual basis is important to your long-term hearing and overall health.
Following these care guidelines will certainly help extend the life of your hearing aids. That said, if there are no apparent signs of malfunction but you are still struggling to hear, your hearing aids may need to be reprogrammed. Additionally, there are many types of hearing aids and each requires specific maintenance. So adhering to care guidelines for your specific aid model is extremely important!
Problems with a hearing aid should not be left untreated, whether you’re dealing with low volume levels or a persistent ringing sound. Patients who seek treatment from Francis Audiology can count on receiving quality care from a team of skilled and dedicated audiologists and hearing care professionals. We serve patients all over Southwestern PA. Call (724) 933-3440 or book an appointment online!