Hearing aids are a significant investment, so it’s good practice to learn how to clean and maintain them at home. Taking good care of your hearing aids helps ensure they function properly and prolongs their lifespan. Following a few easy steps will keep you connected to your world by ensuring optimal hearing aid performance.hearing aid

Here are some easy tips to prolong the life of your hearing aids:
 
  • Clean using a soft, dry cloth. First, you should make sure your fingers are clean and dry before touching your hearing aid. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove any dirt or grime that may have built-up. Never use alcohol, solvents or cleaning agents. 
 
  • Use your cleaning tools When you first receive your hearing aids, you will typically receive a small brush tool you can use to periodically brush over the microphone ports to remove any loose wax or debris. Earwax can accumulate in the opening at the end of a hearing aid where the sound comes out causing muffled sounds or feedback (whistling). Use the pick and brush to gently clear wax away. 
 
  • Avoid liquids and moisture. When hearing aids are exposed to liquids and moisture, it can cause serious damage. Although many devices are being made water resistant, it’s still recommended you remove them when showering or swimming. Put your aids in after you apply hair products like sprays or gels. 
 
  • Change the wax filter. The wax filter prevents ear wax from reaching the inner parts of the hearing aid which can cause damage. Along with removing earwax from your device, you will periodically need to replace the wax filter or wax guard. This should be done whenever you begin to see build-up on the filter. 
 
  • Develop good habits. Remember to take your hearing aids out every night and store them somewhere cool and dry. Depending on your activity level, you might consider using a dehumidifier at night, especially during the summer months to cut down on any moisture that may be on your hearing aids. woman with hearing aid
 
  • Keep batteries out of direct sunlight. They should not be kept in your car, or outdoors on a glass topped patio table. 
 
  • Take proper care of your hearing aids if they get wet. If a residual splash from the pool or a sun shower happens, remove the battery promptly, and let the hearing aid dry out for several hours before wearing them again. 
 
  • Always handle with care. Although hearing devices are far more durable than they once were, they still should be handled with care. Always hold them securely to avoid dropping them. When changing the batteries or cleaning them, set them on a soft surface such as a towel. When they aren’t in use, store them in a safe place. They should never be kept in reach of children or animals. 
 
  • Visit your audiologist.While cleaning and taking care of your devices at home can greatly improve the life of your hearing aids, you should still bring them in to be properly cared for by a professional. Think of it like taking your car into the mechanic; they may be able to spot something that is in need of repair you may have missed. They’re also able to make adjustments to your devices to better suit your needs. 

Hearing aids have small working parts, and it is not uncommon over time for a hearing aid to need a repair. You may try to turn the hearing aid on in the morning and find there is no sound; the battery door may come unhinged. Even when the hearing aids are properly cared for, these things happen. If you should experience an issue that needs repair, take the hearing aid(s) to your hearing care professional. They are equipped to diagnose broken hearing aids. Some minor hearing aid repairs can be performed in the office setting in a short period of time; others will need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. Your hearing professional can help determine what kind of a repair is necessary if you feel your hearing aid is not working properly.man having hearing aid fitted

The Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI) of Salus University offers comprehensive hearing examshearing aid fittings and repairs. Our audiologists are sure to take note of your personal preferences and lifestyle so they can choose the best hearing aid for you. For more information on PEI’s hearing aid services, call 215.780.3180.