How to maintain your new hearing aids
If you’ve just begun wearing hearing aids, you’ll already know just how much of a positive impact they are having on your life. Spending time with family is more rewarding, listening to music and watching films is more enjoyable, and you’re realizing just how much you’ve been missing with your hearing loss.
Although those miracle devices are working hard to change your life for the better, they’ll require just as much work from you to continue operating at their best. Your new hearing aids are a bit like a new car – they might work flawlessly while brand new, but keeping them operating just as well (and for longer) is a matter of good maintenance.
Thankfully, with a few helpful tips on hearing aid maintenance, keeping your hearing aids working like new is easy. This is what you should know about making the most of your new hearing aids.
Cleaning Your Aids
Hearing aids require a lot more than just an occasional spring cleaning to stay functional. Since they are semi-internal devices that come into regular contact with your skin and the elements, cleaning your aids regularly (as often as twice a day) is important for their functionality.
The most important time to clean your aids is the first thing in the morning, when you should wipe off your aids to remove dust, dirt and residue accumulated over the day and night. The residue that builds up during the day often dries as night, which can be damaging if you aren’t careful to clean them.
When you clean your aids, be careful to wipe debris away from important vents and openings. Using the right tools that are tough enough to clean, but soft enough not to cause damage, will help you maintain your hearing aids more easily.
For a breakdown of which tools are best, go to the “What to Buy for Hearing Aid Maintenance” section below.
Storing Your Aids
Just like cell phones and computers, most hearing aids are digital devices with a worst enemy – humidity and water. Unless you have specialized waterproof aids, nothing spells disaster for a hearing aid quite like water.
So while it might seem like a good idea to store your hearing aids alongside your toiletries and makeup in the bathroom, this is where humidity and water is at its worst. To protect them, store your aids in a cool, dry place away from the bathroom.
This also helps keep your hearing aids away from damaging substances like hairspray, perfume and makeup, which can clog the passageways that allow your hearing aids to work properly.
When you store your hearing aids while you sleep, make sure to leave the battery doors open overnight, since air flow will help preserve battery life.
Bad Habits to Avoid
It’s easy to fall into bad habits with your hearing aids, so making sure you avoid a few important things will help you maintain your hearing aids for longer.
- Although your furry friends might be fun to snuggle with, they also love chewing on hearing aids. Make sure you keep your aids away from pets.
- Your morning routine might seem like a good time to pop your hearing aids in, but wait until after you apply makeup and hair products to put in your aids. Those substances can damage your hearing aids if they build up.
- Unless you have waterproof or water resistant hearing aids, remove your hearing aids before strenuous exercise. Just like humidity and splashes of water, perspiration can mean bad things for aids that aren’t built to resist it.
Tips on Hearing Aid Batteries
Unless you have rechargeable hearing aids, you’ll need to regularly change your batteries for your aids to remain functional. There are plenty of ways to keep your batteries lasting longer, as well as plenty of ways to do just the opposite. Follow these steps to keep your batteries lasting longer.
- It’s an urban legend that storing batteries in the refrigerator helps them last longer. For hearing aid batteries, do not store them in the fridge since the cold actually reduces life for these ion batteries.
- The stickers on your hearing aid batteries aren’t just for show. Keep the stickers on your hearing aid batteries until you’re ready to use them unless you want to find a set of dead batteries about 20 days after removing the sticker!
- Aid batteries are to metal as hearing aids are to humidity – they’re mortal enemies! Keep your hearing aids away from other metals, even when the sticker is on unless your want to find you have a handful of loose change and some dead aid batteries.
What to Buy for Hearing Aid Maintenance
Buying your hearing aids is just the first step. There are a few other instruments you’ll need to keep your hearing aids clean and working well.
If you have ITE (in the ear) aids, you will need a wax pick and a soft bristle toothbrush. Use a wax pick to remove any wax from the receiver tube, and then use a soft bristle toothbrush to clean the microphone cover.
If you have BTE (behind the ear) aids – you’ll need a wax pick, a cleaning pipe, a tube blower, a soft bristle toothbrush and plenty of soapy water. First, use your soft bristle toothbrush to clean the microphone cover. For the tube, use your wax pick and your cleaning pipe together to clean debris from the tube (making sure to clean the tube from the end that connect to the hearing aid outwards). The earmold is best cleaned with plenty of soapy water, but make sure to use your tube blower to force out any excess moisture afterwards.
When Home Cleaning Isn’t Enough
You can be a hearing aid home-cleaning master and still find you’ll need some help cleaning your aids. Your hearing aid specialist has the tools and expertise that’s needed to keep your hearing aids in top working order. Make sure you head in for regular “clean and check” appointments, when your hearing aid specialist can check for any problems while giving your hearing aids a serious “spring cleaning”, too!
To schedule an appointment with a hearing professional please contact:
Emery Hearing Centers of Arizona
13711 W. Camino Del Sol
Sun City West, AZ 85375
Phone: (623) 792-7151
7115 E. Baseline Rd. Suite #107
Mesa, AZ 85209
Phone: (480) 556-1756
9133 W Thunderbird Rd
Peoria, Arizona, 85381
Phone: (602) 455-1331