Approximately 38.2 million Americans (14.3 percent) report some degree of a hearing loss, according to Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health. The most common form of treatment for hearing loss is the use of hearing aids. Consequently, hearing aids represent a significant investment in your hearing health. In an effort to encourage my patients to get the most benefit from them and prolong their service life, I have compiled some daily care tips to maintain your hearing aids.
Periodic Listening Checks
My team and I recommend investing in a listening tube to perform periodic listening checks. Sometimes called hearing aid stethoscopes, this is a handy tool for ensuring clear sound transmission without breaks. It also allows you to identify feedback issues before they become a major issue.
It is important to avoid getting your hearing aids wet, but you can clean them with a soft, dry cloth or soft bristle brush. A wax loop or wax hook allows you to dislodge debris in holes and other hard to reach places. You can clean earmolds with mild soap and water and allow them to air dry or use a bulb blower, which you can find in most camera shops. Do not use harsh chemicals or alcohol because you can damage their delicate structure.
Daily Care When Not In Use
It is a good idea to remove your hearing aids at night, when you are performing daily hygiene, or when you visit a pool, hot tub, sauna, or the beach. New users sometimes need short breaks while they get used to them. A few tips to keep in mind when not using your hearing aids include:
- Make sure that you turn them off. There is no need to waste the battery.
- Do cleaning, maintenance, or battery replacement over a towel or work over your bed, so they have a soft place to land if you drop them.
- Always have a carrying case on hand for proper storage. Not only will this make it easier to find them when you are ready to use them, but it will also prevent them from falling off the nightstand, getting stepped on, or other forms of damage.
- To prevent or remove moisture, open the battery door and place your hearing aids inside their drying kit or blow out the moisture using a bulb blower.
Many modern hearing aids are rechargeable. The charger provides a great place to put your devices when not in use and keeps them “juiced up” and ready for use. However, many still use batteries, which you will have to replace every one to two weeks, depending on usage and battery quality. It is a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand at all times because battery life and usage can be unpredictable. If small children or pets are around, keep them in a safe place (like in your carrying case), because they contain toxins that are harmful when chewed or swallowed.
My goal is to make sure that my patients get the most benefit from their hearing aids. Proper care not only enhances how they function, but it also increases the longevity of your hearing aid investment. My team and I at Duncan Hearing Healthcare are always available to help you with the proper tools and techniques for hearing aid care and maintenance.
Contact us to learn more about hearing aid care and maintenance tips from Duncan Hearing Healthcare or to set up an appointment in our Fall River, MA clinic, or the clinic nearest to you.