Center For Better Hearing - Glens Falls, NY

Man holding a behind-the-ear hearing aid

Murphy’s Law informs us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better version might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”

That’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, replace the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re attempting to preserve our investment and expand its life.

You should certainly think of hearing aids in the same manner. If you give things a chance to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your maintenance, your hearing aids can carry on and perform properly for years.

So what are the things that can go wrong? The following are the three primary threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to safeguard against them.

1. Physical damage

Enemy # 1 is physical destruction. Hearing aids consist of vulnerable electronics that are prone to damage from shock. To protect against this, be sure you store your hearing aids in their storage cases whenever you’re not wearing them.

An effective rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at all times. Leaving your hearing aids exposed on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and bump them off. Similarly, when you’re inserting and removing your hearing aids, it’s best to do this over a soft surface in the event they fall.

Additionally, remember to check and replace the batteries often. You’re not doing the circuitry any favors by having the hearing aids operate on low battery power.

2. Moisture

Electronic devices and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a mobile phone in the sink knows all too well. Once submerged, there’s very little that can be done. But it requires a lot less than complete submersion in water to ruin your hearing aids.

Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and start wreaking havoc. Because of this, you should refrain from using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. In addition, remember that extreme changes in temperature can generate condensation, for instance going from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, ensure that you dry off any wetness that develops.

We also recommend not keeping your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can create problems. This is an additional reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the best spot to store your hearing aids when not in use.

3. Earwax and dirt

Even if you’ve guarded your hearing aids against physical destruction and water with adequate storage and the avoidance of moisture, you’ll still need to protect against opponent # 3: dirt and grime.

Earwax, dust, and debris can accumulate on the hearing aids, clogging the speakers, ports, and other parts. To guard against this, 1) sustain proper ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids daily.

In regard to cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, ensure that you use only the tools supplied by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can supply cleaning kits and instructions specifically for your type of hearing aids.

Finally, think about acquiring a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers use ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill dangerous pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.

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