hearing aid

Hearing Aid Maintanence Tips

Persons who use a Hearing Aid need to clean them regularly and maintain them in proper condition. So, here are a few Hearing Aid Maintenance Tips which has to be followed.

General instructions regarding Cleaning and Maintenance of Hearing Aids

  • Keep the HAs dry. If you accidentally get the HA wet, remove it from your ears, remove the battery and wipe the aid with a cloth. Never use heat to dry the instrument. 
  • Keep the HA clean, avoid dusty and dirty environments. Do not wear HA while applying hairspray or perfume.
  • Do not attempt repairs on your own. Also do not force the parts if they appear to be jammed. If basic troubleshooting does not work. Contact your hearing health care professional.
  • Visit your audiologist or dispenser regularly especially before the end of the warranty period.
  • Keep your ears free of ear wax as much as you can. If needed see your physician regularly and have your ears cleaned.

General instructions regarding Cleaning and Maintenance of Hearing Aids

  • Always take off your aids when you take a bath, shave or wash your face.
  • Never loan your aid to anyone. It will not fit anybody else’s ear correctly. Because of this, it can make a loud squeal or whistle that is bothersome and dangerous. If your aid is very powerful it could even damage your hearing. 
  • HAs are well-built instruments. But, dropping them on a hard surface can cause damage to the device. Always handle them when you are sitting down. Never handle them when you are over a tile floor.
  • Be sure that your hands are dry and clean when you handle your HAs. Water can ruin them. And oily creams or Vaseline can plug up their sound inlet or outlet ports.
  • Never stick anything into the aid’s sound inlet and outlet port or the microphone’s opening. If you have trouble with ear wax, use the brush you were given with the soft tissue.
  • It is most important to clean your ear-mold and change the tubing regularly, otherwise, the quality of sound from your hearing aid will be poor. 
  • Cleaning: The ear-mold can simply be washed in warm soapy water.
  • Soak both the mold and the tube together for approximately 15 minutes in warm soapy water. Allow the tap water to run through the tube and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Dry the outside of the mold and tube. Leave it to dry overnight. Or you may even choose to shake off firmly to remove any water droplets from inside the tube. Repeat this regularly.

Re-tubing your ear-mold:

  • You should replace the plastic tube inside your ear-mold approximately every 6-9 months, or when the tube becomes discolored and hard. This will help to maintain good sound quality and comfort.
  • If the tube becomes too hard it can snap and get stuck inside the mold. If this happens you will not be able to wear the hearing aid until the broken tube is removed and replaced.

Important Points to Remember

  • Ear hygiene:  Always be sure to maintain ear hygiene.
  • Avoid contact with hair spray or make-up: The fine atomization of hair spray or make-up powder may block microphone openings, volume control, or program control. Make sure to remove your hearing aids before using anybody care products.
  • Protect your hearing aid from dirt: Always make sure that your fingers are clean and dry before touching your hearing aid. If hearing aids are handled improperly, there are chances that the microphone could get blocked, as the microphone openings are very small.
  • Avoid dropping: Avoid dropping your devices on hard surfaces. Make sure you use a soft surface while you change the batteries and while you clean them or even while you are wearing or removing the hearing aid/s, just in case the device does not slip out of your hands and fall.
  • Protect your hearing aids from intense heat: Be sure not to expose your hearing aids to intense heat. Do not expose the devices to direct sunlight (at home or in a parked car) and also keep them away from heaters.
  • Protect your hearing aid from moisture: Make sure you remove the hearing aids from your ear before showering, bathing, or swimming. The devices should not be left in the bathroom. This is because there is moisture in the bathroom and this moisture or water condensation may damage the electronic part of the hearing aids. Removing the batteries from the hearing aid at night is recommended. While you do this, the battery compartment should be left open, so that the moisture in the device can disperse. Use a special drying kit/system for the same. 

Important Points to Remember

  • Clean gently: Clean your devices with a special moist cleansing wipe, designed especially for cleaning your hearing devices. Substances like alcohol, solvents, and cleaning agents may damage the devices. For the hearing aids to function normally, the device and the ear-mold of the behind-the-ear devices should always be free of earwax or other deposits.
  • Store your hearing aids in a safe place: If the hearing aids are not being used by you for a longer period of time, remove the batteries and leave the battery compartment open. Store the hearing aids in a dry case, when the moisture levels are high. Carry the devices in your storage case, at all times.
  • Keep away from children and pets: Store your devices out of the reach of children and pets. The high-pitched sounds that are sent out of the devices, when they are lying around and not been turned off, may irritate the sensitive hearing of pets.
  • Repairs may only be executed by a professional: Screwdrivers and oil are the enemies of every hearing aid. If the hearing aids come in contact with any electronics or micromechanics, it may lead to irreparable damages.

Troubleshooting guide for hearing aids with molds

No sound

  • Replace the battery, preferably with one from a new packet. Do not remove the tab over the battery until it is required.
  • Separate the hearing aid from the mold as though for cleaning. Switch the aid on and close your hand over the aid. If the aid now whistles this would suggest that there is a blockage in the mold. Wash the mold and tube
  • together in warm soapy water.

Poor sound quality:

  • Have your ears checked by your ENT for wax or infection?
  • Check your mold for moisture, or blockages of wax or debris. Remove the mold and wash it in warm soapy water.
  • Check the tube for bends or breaks. Replace if necessary.

A whistle from a hearing aid:

  • Inserting the mold correctly has to be checked. The tube should sit ‘flush’ against the side of your ear. Consult your Audiologist for advice if you have difficulty fitting your mold.
  • Check to see whether the mold is loose or damaged. Molds need replacing from time to time due to ‘wear and tear’. Also over a period of time, the shape of your ear can change.
  • Please note that it is perfectly normal for a hearing aid to whistle when it is not in the ear or cover your ear and hearing aid with your hand.

Contact your Hearing Aid Professional

  • There is discomfort or pain despite positioning the ear-mold
  • Suppose, removing the earwax deposits the ear-mold opening gets difficult
  • When the sound tube has turned yellowish and brittle
  • If, the desired volume can no longer be accessed because the hearing aid emits a whistling sound.

For more tips, go to the following links:

https://1specialplace.com/2020/09/17/hearing-aid-tips-for-adults/

https://1specialplace.com/2020/12/25/hearing-aid-tips-for-children/

For more tips on cleaning different types of Hearing Aids, check the following link:

https://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-aids/cleaning

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