One question Audiologists get asked frequently about is: How long do hearing aids last? The short answer is: it depends. Properly caring for your hearing aids can prolong the life of your hearing aid drastically. That maintenance starts at home with some easy steps to care for your hearing aids. You should clean your hearing aids daily if you want them to last for the long run.
Remove any wax from thesurface of the hearing aids.
You should first start by inspecting the tip that goes into your ear. This is called the dome or the earmold depending on the style. After inspecting your tip, you should then brush or wipe away any wax that you can visually see. Because hearing aids are electronic, you should not ever use hard chemicals or water on your hearing aid. If you have a hard shell earmold, then you should wipe the hearing aid with a dry cloth. If you have a soft, rubber tip earmold, then gently brush the wax away with a cleaning brush.
Inspect the microphone area for anything that might be plugging it.
The hearing aid microphone is responsible for picking up sound from your environment. They can become very vulnerable to dust and debris, so it is very important to keep them clean. If you don’t know where your microphones are, ask your hearing professional at your next visit. On a behind-the-ear hearing aid, the microphones are located on the part that sits above your ear. There are usually 2 ports on the very top of the instrument. For an in-the-ear hearing aid, the microphone is often near the battery door. You can gently run your cleaning brush across the microphones to remove any debris.
Inspect your sound port or wax guard
Some hearing aids have a small wax guard or wax trap covering the sound port where the sound comes out of the hearing aid. If these become plugged with wax, this can cause the hearing aid to malfunction. Replace your wax guard if you suspect it is plugged. Your hearing professional can help show you how to do this.
Some instruments will not have this, and instead have a tubing extending from the instrument. For hearing aids with tubing, you can use your cleaning tools to pick out the wax. If you are unsure which you have, ask your hearing professional at the next visit.
If you have a vent on your instrument, run a vent cleaning tool through it.
Hearing instruments that have been custom molded to your ears are likely to have vent, or air passage in them. You can run a thin filament through this space to push any wax out.
Your hearing aids should be cleaned on a regular basis. Protect your instruments from moisture. There are dri-aid kits and jars that you can store your hearing aids in to help absorb moisture. These can help keep the hearing aids maintained well.
More information regarding hearing aid care can be found here.
Contact us at (651) 888-7888 with any questions regarding hearing aid maintenance or any other hearing aid care needs.