When you make a significant investment in something, you want to treat it with care. We’re betting you wouldn’t buy a Maserati and run it through a five-dollar carwash! Hearing aids are no different (other than being a heck of a lot less expensive!). We’re not going to sugarcoat things; hearing aids are a major investment, so you’ll want to get the most out of them that you can.
Regular maintenance will help extend the life of these hardworking devices and is a must given the conditions they are exposed to on a daily basis. Moisture, heat, earwax, and dirt can all damage electronic components unless cleaned properly.
Routine Maintenance for Your Hearing Aids
About twenty percent of people in Encino have hearing loss; the majority wear hearing aids to improve their ability to communicate. If you’re one of them, you should clean your hearing aids on a daily basis.
Use a soft, dry cloth and gently wipe all the surfaces, including the microphone inlet, which can become clogged with debris, and the battery contacts, which attract dust and dirt. That isn’t a knock on your cleaning skills – it’s just a fact of life! Do not use water, solvents, cleaning fluids, or alcohol, as moisture can damage your hearing aids.
Most audiologists or hearing health care providers sell a multi-tool that consists of a wire loop, magnet, and brush. This versatile cleaning tool is useful for removing wax and debris from hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in your hearing aids, and the magnet aids in battery removal. If a multi-tool is not available, you can usually buy each component separately.
If your morning routine includes applying hairspray and facial lotions, do so before inserting your hearing aids. The same applies to face washing.
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 try at home that might resolve the problem.
- If there is feedback or whistling when your hearing aids are inserted, they might have been put in 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 sound is distorted or unclear, your battery or contacts may be dirty or corroded. Try cleaning the battery surfaces and/or replacing the battery. Sometimes simply opening and closing the battery compartment door will resolve the issue. Make sure your hearing aids haven’t inadvertently been switched to T-coil mode.
- If there is no sound at all, make sure the battery isn’t dead. Check for a clogged microphone or sound outlet and try changing the wax filter.
If these tips do not solve your problem, you’ll have to take your hearing aids in to your Encino audiologist for repair. The cost will depend on what is damaged, which replacement parts are needed and whether your hearing aids are still under warranty.