At Home Caring Tips for Hearing Aids



During the COVID-19 outbreak, it has become more important than ever to keep your hearing aids clean. Regular cleaning and maintenance not only increase the life of your hearing aids but also ensure that they function well for optimum communication.

Here are a few at-home hearing aid care and maintenance tips that will help you keep your devices in good working condition:

  • Most hearing aids are not water-proof, so make sure you do not wear them while swimming, showering, or in the sauna.
  • Do not wear your hearing aids while applying cosmetic products such as hairspray and make-up.
  • Make sure your ears are clean and dry before wearing your hearing aids.
  • Make sure your hands are clean and dry while handling your hearing aids.
  • Wipe clean your hearing aids daily using a soft cloth or tissue paper.
  • Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or other antiseptic cleaning agents, as they can damage your hearing aids over time. Only use them if your hearing aids come in contact with a contaminated surface such as the floor of public areas.
  • You should not use tools such as needles or scissors for cleaning your hearing aids, instead, use a soft, small brush.
  • Power off your hearing aid when it is not in use. Remove the batteries if you are not using it for a long time. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, refer to your user manual to see how to store your devices if you are not wearing them routinely.
  • Change the batteries as often as required based on the low-battery indicator built into most devices.

Cleaning and Maintaining Different Parts of Hearing Aids

Whether you use in-the-ear style (ITE, HS, ITC, CIC, or IIC), receiver-in-canal (RIC), or behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids, there are three parts that require regular care and maintenance.

1. Shell

Debris or wax on the shell or casing can cause discomfort in the ear or affect the fit or the function of the built-in controls (buttons and volume wheels). Earwax tends to build up in the bent areas of the shell that are fitted in the ear canal. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids can accumulate oil and dirt in any of the seams or microphone openings.

Use these tips to clean the shell:

  • Do not use chemical cleaners unless they are specially designed for hearing aids.
  • Use the soft brush that is provided with your hearing aid to remove the wax and debris.
  • Use a microfiber cloth or tissue to remove oily build-up on the shell.

2. Microphone

The microphone requires some special care, as it is an essential component in your hearing aids. It picks up sound that is then processed and amplified by your hearing aid.

Tips for cleaning the microphone:

  • Brush away any debris you see in the microphone port(s) using the brush that is provided with your hearing aid
  • Avoid pushing any debris further into the microphone port.
  • Turn the hearing aid so that the microphone port is facing downward so that any loose debris can fall out.

3. Receiver

Hearing aids often fail due to the wax or oil build-up in the receiver. The wax build-up can be prevented by cleaning the receiver every day. Additional cleaning is required when the wax blocks the receiver.

Here a few tips to clean the receiver:

  • Remove any visible wax using the cleaning tool provided with your hearing aid.
  • Most hearing aids have replaceable wax filters or wax guards to help prevent the wax build-up in the receiver. Replace these filters regularly.

With these home-care tips, you can maintain your hearing aids while staying home.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Hearing Aids?

Clean your hearing aids every day to keep them free of wax and debris. You may find that wax comes off your devices more easily at the end of the day since it is still soft and warm vs. the next day when it has dried and hardened.

Hearing aids should also be professionally cleaned every six months or as recommended by your audiologist. Your audiologist has special tools to remove wax from the areas that are difficult to clean at home, and they know how to safely clean the microphone, receiver, and vents.

For further clarification and assistance on hearing aid cleaning, contact us by phone or schedule a telehealth visit with us. We will let you know whether an in-person visit is required. We are also offering a drive-up service for hearing aid repairs, cleaning, and supplies purchases.


image

Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.