Hearing aids represent a substantial investment. Learning how to care for these devices at home is essential to guarantee their best performances over time. Undoubtedly, scheduling in regular professional cleanings of your hearing aid is vital. However, a daily care routine, as well as implementing best practices, can ensure you enjoy clear and vibrant sounds for months to come.
Why do hearing aids need cleaning?
While long-lasting, sophisticated and reliable hearing aids are in contact with the ear for most of the day. This environment is not the most welcoming for highly technological devices, as they get into contact with earwax, body oils and sweat regularly.
Just like other mechanisms, they can guarantee unparalleled performances only when maintained and cared for properly. Indeed, the build-ups of earwax and other substances on the microphone or receivers of your hearing aid can cause it to be malfunctioning.
Specific seasons – such as the hot summer months – make it even more critical to clean your device correctly and regularly. However, introducing daily best practices in your routine from day one is the best way to enjoy the best performances for longer.
Ultimately, aside from increasing performances, cleaning your hearing aid prevents the accumulation of harmful bacteria that can be detrimental for your hearing.
Cleaning hearing aids at home
Even if you have already scheduled regular professional cleanings performed by an audiologist, you should look after your hearing aids daily. Techniques differ depending on the device you are dealing with.
Cleaning in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
To clean an ITE hearing aid, you should:
- Hold the hearing aid with the opening facing downward while cleaning it. Any debris you are removing will so fall off it rather than inside.
- Clean the microphone with a clean cloth or soft-bristle toothbrush. Alternatively, you could use a specific brush provided by your audiologist. This procedure will eliminate any earwax build up.
- Using a wax pick, clean the holes gently to remove anything that you could not reach with the cloth
- Wipe the whole device one last time to get rid of any particles still on its case.
Cleaning behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
To clean a BTE hearing aid, you should:
- Remove any visible debris with a clean cloth
- Separate the earmold from the hook to clean it thoroughly. Wipe both parts with a clean cloth.
Once a week, you should proceed to deep clean the earmolds. These parts can become stained and dirty over time, and they need special care. To do so, soak them in warm water and allow them to dry overnight before using them again, making sure that the device has lost all moisture. It is also essential to avoid using any chemical or alcohol on it.
Please note that, while the earmolds could develop odors over time, if this becomes too strong or continues, you should speak to your audiologist. Indeed, this could be a sign of ear infection.
Extra daily care tips:
- Get equipped:Having the right tools can help you do a better job when cleaning your device at home. Ask your audiologist for an appropriate brush and ear pick.
- Follow a healthy protocol:It is much easier to care for your device if you implement these easy cleaning tasks every day. Moreover, you should also always wash your hands before proceeding with the cleaning, and only use new or clean tools.
- Clean the hearing aid at the end of the day: Implementing those best practices before going to sleep ensures that the device is well-aired and completely dry before using it again.
- Change the batteries often:Leave the compartment open overnight, and don’t forget to wipe it!
Just as important as regular maintenance and daily care, professional hearing aid cleanings can help you enjoy the performances of your device for longer. These appointments should not be skipped, as a professional will use particular tools that can thoroughly clean the hearing aid.
Moreover, an expert technician will be able to remove any additional debris safely, restoring the functioning of the device completely.
Depending on the earwax build-up and season of the year, you should aim at scheduling your professional cleanings every three to six months. But don’t worry, it will be quick enough for you to enjoy the performances of your hearing device in a matter of minutes.
To know more about the right hearing aid daily care and cleaning, get in touch with Flynn Associates by calling us at Concord: (978) 759-3540, Wellesley: (781) 943-5040.