Ninety percent of the nearly 4 million individuals who invest in hearing aid technology each year are satisfied with their purchase and would recommend them to friends with a hearing loss. Hearing aids can help transform your life, restore relationships, and help get you back to the active and independent lifestyle you love.
Like all modern digital technology, hearing aids need some TLC to ensure they perform their best. Here are some basic tips to keep both your ears and hearing aids clean, ensuring that you continue to enjoy all the advantages your hearing aids provide as well as extending their service life.
Earwax and Hearing Aids
Earwax is the natural process used to clean foreign particles from your ears. Dirt and debris cling to the sticky, wax-like oil, and then work their way out of the ear canal. It is always best to allow nature to take its course unless you produce excessive earwax which can become compacted and lead to hering difficulties.
Instead of digging in with a cotton swab (which you should NEVER do by the way!) or using OTC products such as olive oil drops, have a hot shower/bath which should soften the wax, and wipe all around your ears with a soft dry cloth to remove dead skin cells and excess dirt. Make that part of your routine every day and you will keep your ears clean and healthy.
Because at-home methods of earwax removal have the potential to cause damage, your best choice is to consult your audiologist who has the expertise and resources to handle deeply compacted earwax. Other things to avoid at all costs are ear candles which can potentially drip hot wax and smoke into your ear which can lead to permanent injury.
In spite of the fact that earwax benefits your ears, it is one of your hearing aids’ worst enemies. Earwax and debris that has built-up inside your device blocks the receiver, leading to feedback (high-pitched whistling) and/or reduced sound clarity.
It also degrades or interferes with the performance of the delicate technology in your hearing aids. Regular cleaning is the best solution to avoiding these issues related to the buildup of foreign substances and earwax.
5 Elements of Maintaining Your Hearing Aids
Making sure that your hearing aids are properly cared for includes five elements for maintaining your hearing aids. Proper cleaning and maintenance procedures should follow the specific guidelines provided by your device manufacturer and/or your hearing care provider.
Our list is to work as a checklist for your routine:
- Gather the right tools. Tools include a soft, dry cloth, a soft bristle brush, a wax pick, and a special drying area and/or ball blower. Being too aggressive during cleaning or using any cleaning solvent can damage your device.
- Clean your device at the beginning or end of each day. Some prefer cleaning when they take them out at night while others like to clean them before their morning hygiene routine. Daily cleaning makes it easier to recognize damage to the device before it becomes an issue.
- Avoid moisture. Remove your hearing aids during your hygiene routine to avoid moisture and the degrading solvents used in hair products. Don’t forget to remove them before going into a pool, hot tub, steam room, or sauna.
- Avoid extreme temperatures. The windowsill in your home or dashboard are bad places to leave your device due to extreme heat, UV damage and condensation. Going inside a warm store or house after being in the cold or visa versa can also cause condensation. The best thing to do is to leave your hearing aids in a dry box to wick away any moisure after being in a change of temperature.
- Schedule professional cleaning and maintenance regularly. Your car needs regular oil changes and tune-ups to perform properly, and so do your hearing aids. Schedule professional cleaning and maintenance at least twice a year or whenever you notice performance changes or damage to your device.
Hearing and Balance Doctors Provides Cleaning and Maintenance Support
We know the advantages and benefits hearing aids provide, so we do whatever it takes to make sure that you get the most from your device. Hearing aid users in Southern Nevada or Southwestern Utah can expect the hearing aid technicians at Hearing and Balance Doctors to provide you with cleaning, maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting support.
If you or a loved one is not getting the best performance from their device, struggles with cleaning, or needs to schedule a semi-annual tune-up, then contact us for the support you need.