How are new hearing aids like a new car? Getting 100,000 miles or more out of a car requires regular maintenance, including oil changes, tire rotations and engine tune-ups. Likewise, if you want years of listening enjoyment, you need to practice good hearing aid hygiene.
Just as cars needs to weather the elements, hearing aids and their advanced electronics must withstand exposure to earwax, moisture, dust, temperature fluctuations and repeated handling.
Following are nine “secrets” (well, actually, just basic steps) for maximizing the life of your new hearing aids.
- CLEAN the instruments on a daily basis, using a soft cloth, tissue or special hearing aid brush. Follow the instructions provided by your hearing healthcare professional for your type of hearing aid.
- DEHUMIDIFY the aids overnight by placing them in a dryer jar or electronic dehumidifier.
- REMOVE earwax with a wax loop, pick or brush, as instructed by your provider. Periodically change the wax filter or wax guard, if applicable.
- OPEN the battery door when not in use, and remove the batteries at night.
- REPLACE earmolds when worn out (applies to behind-the-ear or receiver-in-canal aids).
- PROTECT the aids from the elements, including precipitation and extreme heat or cold.
- TAKE the hearing aids out of your ears while showering, washing your face, shaving or using hair care products.
- HANDLE the aids with care — avoid dropping, and keep them out of the reach of children or pets.
- KEEP your hearing aid checkup appointments; your hearing healthcare provider has specialized equipment to clean hard-to-reach components.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to talk to your provider if you have any questions or concerns about cleaning and maintaining your new hearing aids.