This page will provide you with some general information and tips on how to care for a hearing aid or an earmold.
Cleaning A Hearing Aid:
- Wipe the outside of the hearing aid daily with a soft, dry cloth or tissue to remove earwax and body oils. A soft toothbrush may be used to remove stubborn wax. The battery compartment of the hearing aid should be left open at night to insure that the hearing aid is off and also so fresh air can enter the hearing aid and dry it more completely. Do not attempt to clean the hearing aid by inserting pins or toothpicks into the openings as it is very easy to damage the internal parts. If wax builds up inside an opening, it is best to bring the hearing aid to your audiologist for proper cleaning. Hearing aids should be professionally cleaned every 3 to 6 months. Some people tend to develop more earwax then others and they should have their hearing aid cleaned more frequently. It is also important to have the hearing aid wearers ears checked regularly as wax can build up and stop the hearing aid from functioning properly.
Cleaning an earmold:
- Earmolds should be cleaned every night by wiping them with a soft, dry cloth or tissue. This will remove any earwax or body oils that may have collected during the day. If wax has entered into the tube of the earmold and cannot be reached with a tissue, remove the earmold from the hearing aid and run warm (not hot) water over the earmold and through the tubing. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE HEARING AID IS NOT PUT INTO THE WATER, JUST THE EARMOLD!!! The earmold can then be set out to dry before it is reconnected to the hearing aid. If a hearing aid dryer (not a hair dryer) is available, it may be used to dry the earmold. If you have any questions about cleaning an earmold, contact your local audiologist.
*Be very careful not to mix up which earmold connects to which hearing aid. Earmolds should only be cleaned one at a time to prevent mixups.*
Never use chemical solvents on the earmold as they can cause discoloration and make soft earmold materials turn hard or shrink. Earmold tubing will harden and discolor with age. When this occurs the tubing can be removed and a new tube can be inserted by the audiologist.
General Tips for Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance:
- Do not place the hearing aid near stoves, radiators, heat lamps or in direct sunlight. Do not wear the hearing aid when using a hair dryer or hair spray.
- Hearing aids can function well when outdoors even during the winter. However, after extended periods in the cold, the battery may loose power. If this occurs, just let the aid naturally return to room temperature and power should be restored.
- Hearing aids should not be worn in or near saunas, steam baths, regular baths, vaporizers, or showers. Protect the hearing aid from rain or snow. Perspiration can also damage the hearing aid. If the hearing aid gets wet, let it dry naturally with the battery door left open or else in a special hearing aid dryer that can be purchased from your audiologist. Never dry a hearing aid with a hair dryer or put it in an oven of any kind.
Handle with care
Be careful not to drop the hearing aid and do not leave the hearing aid where pets or children can reach it. Do not attempt to open the case of the hearing aid to repair or adjust it.
This article was submitted by:
Glen R. Meier, M.S., CCC-A, FAAA