You probably paid a great deal of money for your hearing aid. It has given you great value, enabling you to hear the world around you better. But as with many things, we sometimes take the things that bring the most meaning to our lives for granted, and forget to take proper care of them.

Electronic hearing aids are precision instruments, and thus sensitive. The electronic components of modern hearing aids can be affected by moisture or by rough handling, and their most delicate parts are sensitive to dirt, dust, and ear wax, all of which can clog them up. But by performing a few simple care and maintenance steps, you can ensure that your hearing aid lasts and performs well for as long as its designers intended it to. In this article, I point out a few of these simple care and maintenance Dos and Don’ts, to help you to properly maintain your hearing aid.

Handle your hearing aid carefully

  • Handle it gently, and instead of removing it while standing over a hard floor where it might be damaged if it falls, remove it over a towel on a countertop.
  • Keep your hearing aid away from temperature extremes – cold or hot.
  • Never use any kind of chemical solvents or alcohol when cleaning the unit.
  • Apply hair care and styling products before you insert your hearing aid. Hair gels and hairspray can clog the components and can sometimes affect the exterior plastic too.

Never expose the hearing aid to water

  • Electronic hearing aids and their electronic components are very sensitive to moisture.
  • Always remove it before showering, swimming, or bathing, and never try to clean it with a dripping wet cloth.
  • Remove the hearing aid before going to sleep, and store it in a clean, dry place.
  • When you reinsert your hearing aid after showering or bathing, make sure that your ears are completely dry.
  • Consider investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier; one of the most common reasons that hearing aids have to be returned for servicing is the buildup of moisture, so an inexpensive dehumidifier can greatly extend the life of your precision instrument.
  • To use a hearing aid dehumidifier, which removes any accumulation of moisture, remove the batteries from the unit before storing it in the dehumidifier overnight.

Try to keep your ears free from excess ear wax

  • Ear wax clogging the hearing aid is the second most common cause of them having to be returned for service.
  • The production of ear wax is a beneficial and natural thing because it protects the sensitive surfaces of our inner ears, but ear wax can be a problem for hearing aids.
  • Upon removing your hearing aid, wipe away ear wax using a soft cloth.
  • Use the brush or other implements provided with the hearing aid to remove any buildup of ear wax from its receiver and microphone areas.

Change the batteries regularly

  • One thing that impairs the proper functioning of hearing aids is weak batteries.
  • With many hearing aids, if the batteries run down completely, you may have to reprogram the unit.
  • To extend battery life, turn the hearing aid off when you are not using it. Double check that it is off when you store it at night.
  • When you change the batteries its a good time to clean the battery contacts using a cotton swab. Dirty contacts can also impact your hearing aid’s performance.
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