Prolonging the Life of Your Hearing Aid: Essential Maintenance Tips

July 31, 2023

Hearing aids are an essential tool for those with hearing loss, helping to enhance their ability to communicate and engage with the world around them. However, like any electronic device, hearing aids require consistent care and attention to maintain their functionality and prolong their lifespan. In this comprehensive guide, we will be providing you with all the necessary information and tips to keep your hearing aids in prime condition. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Importance of Hearing Aid Maintenance

Your hearing aids are small, intricate devices that need to function optimally in the challenging environment of your ear canal, a place known for its accumulation of earwax, moisture, and debris. That’s why they need regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure their longevity and to prevent any malfunctions or breakdowns.

What's more, the better you care for your hearing aids, the better they can serve you in return. Proper maintenance helps to extend their lifespan, prevent unnecessary repairs, and ensure that they are always performing at their best.

General Tips for Maintaining Your Hearing Aids

Handle Your Hearing Aids With Care

Despite being designed for durability, we recommend handling your hearing aids gently. Each time you hold, insert, remove, or clean your hearing aid, use a firm grip to prevent accidental drops, which could damage the device or the battery inside. If you need to put your hearing aid down, always do so on a clean, soft surface, such as a towel.

Avoid Water Exposure

Although many modern hearing aids come with water-resistant features, it doesn't mean they're designed to be submerged in water or used in excessively humid environments. Never wear your hearing aids when you shower, swim, or bathe. Also, avoid cleaning your hearing aids with water, as moisture could damage their internal components, leading to potential malfunction or, in worst-case scenarios, permanent damage.

Store Your Hearing Aids Properly

When you remove your hearing aids at night, store them in a clean, dry place. This practice helps prevent moisture build-up, which could harm the device. The East Coast is famous for its humidity in the summer, so consider investing in a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier. Additionally, choose a secure location for your hearing aid storage to prevent accidental damage.

Clean Your Hearing Aids Regularly

Daily cleaning is an essential part of hearing aid maintenance. Use a dry cotton swab or a soft brush to remove earwax, oil, moisture, and any other debris that may have accumulated on your hearing aids. Pay special attention to the receiver and microphone during the cleaning process.

Take Care of the Batteries

The batteries of your hearing aids also need regular maintenance. When your hearing aids are not in use, leave the battery doors open to release any trapped moisture. If you don't intend to use your hearing aids for a few days, remove the batteries and store them in a separate place. Furthermore, replace the batteries frequently and clean the battery contacts with a dry cotton swab.

Schedule Professional Cleanings

While personal care is important, scheduling professional cleanings for your hearing aids every four to six months is equally crucial. A professional can fully clean the devices, examine them for damage, and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.

Cleaning Different Types of Hearing Aids

Different types of hearing aids may require slightly different cleaning procedures. Here are some general guidelines for cleaning In-The-Ear (ITE) and Behind-The-Ear (BTE) hearing aids:

Cleaning ITE Hearing Aids

  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a brush provided by your hearing healthcare professional to clear away built-up wax in the microphone ports.
  • Use a wax pick to clear anything that didn't come out with the brush.
  • Wipe the entire device with a clean, dry cloth or tissue to remove debris from the hearing aid case.

Cleaning BTE Hearing Aids

  • Remove the earmold from the hook for cleaning. Clean it by soaking it in warm, soapy water once a week. Let the molds dry completely before putting them back on the hearing aid.
  • Use a bulb blower to force water out of the tubing and then allow it to dry completely overnight.
  • Examine the device for debris and remove it with a soft brush or a dry cloth.

Troubleshooting Common Hearing Aid Problems

Despite regular maintenance, you may encounter some common problems with your hearing aids. Here are some quick solutions:

Whistling Sounds or Feedback

If your hearing aids are producing a high-pitched whistle or feedback, it could be due to the volume being too high, or the earmold not fitting properly. It could also be due to an accumulation of earwax. Try turning down the volume, getting a refitting, or cleaning out any earwax.

Low Sound

If the sound from your hearing aids is too low, it could be due to a battery issue or a problem with the programming. Check the batteries or consult with your audiologist for a proper solution.

When to Consult a Professional

Even with diligent care and maintenance, your hearing aids may need professional attention from time to time. If they continuously malfunction, produce feedback, or don't provide the benefits they once did, it's time to schedule an appointment with your hearing care provider.

Anywhere Audiology: Your Trusted Hearing Care Provider

At Anywhere Audiology, we understand the importance of maintaining your hearing aids. We offer a range of services, including professional hearing aid cleaning, repairs, and consultations. Our team of experienced audiologists is committed to helping you get the most out of your hearing aids.

Our services cover New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, offering in-home hearing care for your convenience. Our professional team is always ready to help you with any hearing aid concerns or questions.

To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us. Our team at Anywhere Audiology looks forward to serving you and helping you take care of your hearing aids.

Remember, consistent care and maintenance can significantly prolong the life of your hearing aids, ensuring they serve you well for years to come. Start implementing these tips today to get the most out of your devices!

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr. Emma Durazzo
Owner & Doctor of Audiology
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With years of experience and continued professional training, Emma Durazzo (formerly Emma McCue) has developed her expertise in a variety of subspecialties within the scope of audiology.