Hearing Aid Care Tips
Hearing aids are devices that come in a wide range of shapes, colors, and styles. However, most hearing aids have the same basic features and functionality. On every model, there are three parts that need to be cared for regularly.
While there are no fancy tools required, taking some precautionary steps can make the cleaning process easier. Follow these tips to keep hearing aids clean and working smoothly.
Cleaning the Shell
The outer surface of a hearing aid, also known as its shell, can attract and hold dirt, wax, or oils from the ear. The buildup can affect fit or comfort. For in-the-ear (ITE) models, wax is most likely to build up in the bent areas of the shell. Devices that sit behind the ear can collect dirt and oils in any grooves or seams.
Make sure to not use a dripping wet cloth or any chemical cleaners on the hearing aid. These chemicals can break down plastic components, resulting in damage to the hearing aid. Keep a clean, dry cloth handy for cleaning soiled hearing aids only. Use a lint-free cloth for cleaning plastic components.
Cleaning the Microphone
The microphone has an important function in the hearing aid; it picks up sound and converts it into electrical signals, which are transmitted to the hearing aid. On most hearing aids, the microphone port is located at the end of the cord. Ensure that it is kept away from any sharp objects and make sure to never poke anything (rings, hairpins, and so on) into the microphone port. Also, try to keep hair and humidity off the sound processor (the area behind the ears where the sound comes from).
Cleaning the Receiver
Most hearing aid failures are caused by wax buildup. This common problem can be prevented with regular cleaning of the receiver (the hole into which the sound signal passes before reaching the ear). If this does not solve the issue, additional cleaning may be necessary.
Care should be exercised when cleaning the receiver; excessive force can damage the internal workings. Use the wax pick supplied with the aid to remove ear wax. Insert the wire loop into the opening until resistance is met, then scoop back out. Repeat this procedure until the device is freed of wax. Some hearing aid styles have other wax-prevention mechanisms. An audiologist can assist a client in the proper care of these hearing aids.