Try and get into a daily habit of cleaning your hearing aids – in the same way that cleaning your teeth is an essential part of your daily routine.
Never forget the importance of cleaning your hearing aids. Firstly, daily cleaning of hearing aids will help prolong their life by protecting them from damage and keep them in good working order. Secondly, earwax can block the hearing aids making them less effective. Finally, whilst you’re cleaning your hearing aids, you can check them for early signs of damage, e.g. cracks in the dome, or fraying, splits, moisture or mould in the tubing.
Moulded Hearing Aids
If you have moulded hearing aids, the surface area will be in constant contact with your skin and earwax making daily cleaning important. You need to wipe the surface with an alcohol wipe or dry cloth. Then brush the sound outlets and check them for wax blockages. If blocked you can separate the earmould from the aid hook, and then pass a wax wire down to unblock it. Once cleared you can reconnect the earpiece to the hook.
Put your hearing aids in their storage boxes overnight to prevent them getting damaged – making sure the left and right hearing aids are in the appropriate places.
Wipe the surface with an alcohol wipe, dry cloth or ordinary wet wipe, then use a vent brush to get any debris out of the dome. If wax has penetrated the dome and blocked the thin tube, this will need to be cleared. Unscrew the tube from the top of the aid, then push a cleaning wire down the tube to clear the blockage. Once unblocked screw the tube back onto the hearing aid.
When you’re not using your hearing aids, store them in their boxes to help prevent accidental damage.
You need to replace elements of your hearing aids on a regular basis to optimise their effectiveness. The tubing in the earmoulds will become hard and brittle over time and should be changed every six months, or sooner if it’s looking a bit yellow or loses its flexibility.
Receiver In The Canal (RIC) domes should also be changed regularly – between three and six months. The natural oils in your ear and your earwax will break them down and weaken their integrity.
The more up-to-date In the Ear (ITE) and Receiver in the Ear (RITE) hearing aids have a wax filtration system to help push wax out of the aid. The Nanocare or Cerustop discs (the small white discs) need to be changed regularly, though how often will depend on how much wax your ears produce, the typical average is replacement 1-2 months.
Ways of Preventing Damage to your Hearing Aids
Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
Even if your hearing aids are described as water resistant, never put them in water. If they do accidentally get wet, wipe them with a dry cloth, remove the battery, then place the aid in the drying container (you mustn’t put it in a warm place such as the airing cupboard or on a radiator because the heat will damage the earmould). If this doesn’t work, take it to your audiologist for assessment. The Puretone Perfect DryLux is our recommended solution.
If you have a build-up of wax in your ears, it could block your aid and muffle the sound. If you are concerned that your ears might be blocked we recommend getting your ear wax removed by one of our specialist trained audiologists. Prior to removal it is advised to use Earol to soften the wax and ensure removal is quick and efficient.
Hearing Healthcare Centre can provide specialist cleaning products, as well as advice on cleaning and maintaining your hearing aids. If you’re worried about hearing loss you or a relative may be experiencing, book an appointment at our Cambridge, Newmarket or Saffron Walden branch.