Keeping Your Hearing Aids Clean
Hearing aids are an important investment, especially for those with permanent hearing disabilities. These small helpful wonders of technology work in conditions that are hardly ideal – inside your ear canals where they’re exposed to moisture and earwax. Regular cleanups you have to do yourself. But you also need routine maintenance by an audiologist to give your hearing aids a long life.
Tips to Maintain Clean Hearing Aids
- Use the proper cleaning tools. An earwax pick and brush are essential tools for at-home cleanup. Earwax buildup at the opening of the hearing aids, where the sound comes out, may result in muffled sound or whistling. Left uncleaned for a long time, the buildup can damage the receiver. With the use of the earwax pick and brush, you can gently remove the wax from the device.
- Practice good habits. When you shower or wash your face, make sure to remove your hearing aids so the water and soap can’t cause any damage. Also, put them back in only when you’re finished applying your hair products.
- Clean your hearing aids before going to sleep: Nightly cleanups provide them with hours to air out before you use them again. Refrain from using wipes with alcohol or chemicals as they can damage the device.
Cleaning In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
For at-home ITE cleanup, adopt these measures:
- Step 1: Concentrate your cleanup on the openings of the device, which includes the mic ports. Use the brush supplied by your hearing specialist to remove earwax buildup. If you don’t have such a brush, you can use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Position the device with the opening you’re cleaning facedown so any loose flakes or crusts fall out instead of staying stuck inside.
- Step 2: Use an earwax pick or hook to remove anything trapped in the holes. You may have a white filter on the end that is plugged and can be switched out with a little tool. Filters usually come with your devices when you get the hearing aids.
- Step 3: Finish it off by wiping the hearing aids using a clean, dry cloth.
Cleaning Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
To do a complete at-home BTE and ear mold cleanup, adopt these measures:
- Step 1: Examine the device for particles and remove them using a soft brush or a dry cloth.
- Step 2: Detach the ear mold from the hook to properly clean it. Some ear molds, particularly those manufactured using soft materials, can stain after a while. A daily wipe out and weekly soaking in warm, soapy water can do wonders. Make sure the ear molds are completely dried out (you may need to do this overnight) before using them. Also, avoid using wipes with alcohol or chemicals. Note: it’s normal for ear molds to develop a bit of odor with time. However, a pungent odor may indicate an ear infection. Consult a specialist immediately if this happens.
- Step 3: Use a bulb blower to push water out of the tube, then allow it to dry through the night completely.
Cleaning RIC (Receiver in the canal) Hearing Aids
This type of hearing aid has become one of the most popular and well known styles.
- Step 1:Wipe off the tip (dome) nightly to remove excess wax and debris from building up.
- Step 2: change white filter in tip as needed to keep end clear of wax.
Note: If hearing aid quits working, change the filter (white tip).
Hearing aids must be professionally cleaned on a regular basis by an audiologist, like Dr. Bunker AuD, who has the advanced tools to remove earwax and dirt from hard to reach areas. That, and at-home cleanup will ensure you can use your device for a long time.