By Emily Steffel, Au.D., Audiology Consultants
Each style of hearing aid requires slightly different maintenance, but there are several things that are common to all hearing aid types. Every day you should wipe the hearing aids off whenever you take them out of your ears. You should use a clean, dry, lint-free cloth or a clean, dry tissue; do not use tissues with lotion, aloe, or any other additives. You should wipe off all parts of the hearing aid, starting with the parts that sit on the outside of the ear and ending with the part that goes down in your ear canal. You should also open the battery doors or put the hearing aids in their charger every night.
Once a week you should check your hearing aids for wax build-up. That means to look if you can see wax in the hearing aid vents or in the wax trap. You should change the wax trap if you see wax in it or if you are having trouble hearing through the hearing aid. You need not change the wax trap if you are hearing well and you see no wax in the wax trap. You should remove any wax you see in the vents with the provided tools only.
At least once a week you should also clean out your microphones. You will do this by brushing over the microphone ports on the hearing aids with the provided brush only. If you work/hobby in a dusty, dirty, or pollen-rich environment you should clean the microphones daily.
You must change your hearing aids’ batteries whenever you hear the low battery tones (or recharge them daily, if rechargeable). Failure to change (or charge) your hearing aid batteries can result in damage that may require manufacturer repair. And obviously, while your battery is dead the hearing aid is getting no power, so it is not helping you to hear.
Additionally, it is very important that you bring your hearing aids to your audiologist for a thorough cleaning every three to six months. Your audiologist has tools to clean parts of the hearing aids that you cannot. Proper cleaning and maintenance of the hearing aids will help your hearing aids to work as well as possible for as long as possible. If you are still unsure how to take care of your individual hearing aids talk to your audiologist today.
Now is a great time to have your hearing checked! Audiology Consultants’ offices are located at 2215 East 52nd St., #2, Davenport, IL: 563-355-7712; 600 Valley View Dr., Moline, IL: 309-517-3889; Unity Point Clinic, 3426 North Port Dr., #500, Muscatine, IL: 563-264-9406; or Hammond Henry Hospital, 600 College Ave., Geneseo, IL: 309-944-9181.