Our hearing is one of the most precious things in life. If you’ve experienced hearing loss or damage, you understand this statement all too well. You also know the importance of taking care of your ear health and maintaining any equipment you’ve been given for hearing improvement.
If you have a new hearing aid or device, you’re probably still getting used to it. That’s normal; it takes a few weeks to get accustomed to wearing your device as well as assimilating to restored hearing. Another learning curve is figuring out how to best care for your hearing aid and making it part of your regular daily routine. Here are a few pointers to help you learn how to take care of hearing aid for yourself or someone you care for.
Understand the Importance of Maintenance
Allowing a hearing aid to become dirty or collect wax buildup can damage the hearing aid, mute the sound, and cause the battery to wear out faster. Diligently cleaning the device will ensure that it lasts a long time and continues to provide you or your loved one with the amplified hearing it was designed for. Hearing aids can be a huge out-of-pocket expense for anyone, especially the elderly, as most insurance companies don’t pick up the bill because they don’t consider them “medically essential”. If you have one, do everything you can to take care of it.
Daily Wipe Down
Hearing aid cleaning isn’t that difficult but something you want to make a part of your daily routine. Taking a few minutes to wipe down the hearing aid once a day with a dry cloth will go far toward keeping the device clean and sanitary. Just take a dry cloth and wipe off any surface dirt or wax. You can use a toothpick or other small pick and brush to gently scrape off any build-up that the cloth couldn’t get to. If you do this every day, you won’t have to deep clean the device as often.
Solutions and Cleaners
For obvious reasons, you can’t use most cleaning solutions on your hearing aid. Getting the device wet is also a big no-no, as it can short out the device and reduce the battery life. While you can remove the earmold and clean it in warm, soapy water, know that there are special solutions that are designed for hearing aids. Whatever you do, make sure you take off the earmold before getting it wet, dry very carefully, and ensure the battery is always protected.
Your hearing aid likely came with a user guide/manual when you first purchased it. Check this guide for detailed cleaning instructions that pertain to your specific device.
Keeping it Safe
On the rare occasion when a hearing aid is not in use, keep it safe in a clean, dry, and secure place, away from hazards like pets, kids, and the possibility of spills and accidents. I highly recommend having one spot that you always put it when not in use. That way you won’t forget what you did with it. It’s also a good practice to keep a few spare batteries around, just in case.
If you take care of your hearing device and make the effort to keep it clean, you’ll see that it lasts longer and works better. If you have questions about how a device is operating, consult your physician or manufacturer for more information.