At Home Care For Your Hearing Aids
By Thomas A. Powers, PhD
During the COVID-19 pandemic it may be difficult to make an appointment with your hearing professional for hearing aid related issues. To keep your hearing aids in top condition, here are a few hints concerning water, wax and wear to follow at home:
- Always read your owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with all the parts of your haring aid and the cleaning tips that are recommended in the manual.
- Many hearing aids today are water resistant, but not waterproof! So be careful not to accidentally wear them in the shower or when you swim. If they do get wet, dry the outside of the case, then open the battery door and remove the batteries. If you have a drying device/kit, you can place them in the compartment with the battery doors open for a full cycle.
- Due to the high humidity content it is not a good idea to store your hearing aids in the bathroom.
- If you use hair spray, remove your hearing aids while using. The hair spray can build up on the microphone and clog the opening.
- You should inspect your earmolds or domes that are inserted into your ear canals every day. They can collect ear wax which may prevent sound from reaching your eardrum. To clean them use the small brush provided with your hearing aid, or soft-bristle child’s toothbrush. You also can use a clean tissue and gently wipe away any earwax. Be sure to hold the earmolds facing down so any wax or debris falls our and onto a tissue or cloth. If your hearing aids use domes, be sure you have a supply available so you can exchange these at home. Your hearing professional can mail these to you if necessary.
- Your hearing aid may have wax filters or wax guards. Replace these as indicated by your hearing professional to keep your aids in top working condition.
- One of the more common repair issues are hearing aids that have been damaged by the family pet dog or cat. Since the hearing aids and earmolds may carry the scent of the wearer, many pets may find these to be a nice “chew toy”. To prevent this, always store the hearing aids with the battery doors open to prevent whistle, which also may signal the pet to “attack” the devices. Secondly, store them in the case provided by the manufacturer or in the drying device/unit with the lid closed.
- Be sure to have plenty of batteries available. If you change batteries and your hearing aid is not working, first try a battery from another package.
- Inspect the battery compartment to be sure there is no corrosion. If you notice any build up on the battery compartment, use a cotton swab to gently clean the compartment. This helps provide good contact for the battery contacts.
- Most manufacturers and hearing professionals have videos on their website or on YouTube, to help solve a wide range of problems.
- If you are still experiencing issues with your hearing aid, contact your hearing professional.
By following these tips, you can keep your hearing aids in top working condition which will allow you to stay vital and enjoy all the sounds of life!