To those suffering from hearing loss, hearing aids can seem like miniature miracles, restoring the ability to hear what's going on around them. Unfortunately, because of their size and delicate components, even small amounts of dirt can significantly impact the performance of most hearing aids. Follow the tips in this article about how to clean hearing aids.
Keep Your Ears Clean
The first step towards clean hearing aids is clean ears. While it's important never to place small objects (such as cotton-tipped applicators) inside your ear where they could potentially damage the ear drum, carefully wiping your outer ear with a cloth can help prevent unnecessary levels of built-up earwax and other dirt from interfering with the hearing aid.
Likewise, always ensure that fingers are clean and dry before handling a hearing aid. Because the microphone openings on hearing aids are incredibly small, they can easily be clogged if care isn't taken to prevent it.
Work Over a Soft Surface
One of the easiest ways to harm a hearing aid is to drop it. These sort of accidents are most common during cleaning, so before beginning to clean, use a cloth to create a soft surface to work over. That way, if the hearing aid slips the damage is minimized.
Use Provided Tools
In most cases, hearing aids come with specially designed cloths and even special tools to use when cleaning. Use only the supplies recommended by the manufacturer. Under no circumstances should you use solvents such as alcohol to help clean the device as these can damage the fragile components.
Even water should be avoided as moisture can damage the fine electronics within the device. This risk is so significant that some hearing aid manufacturers even suggest leaving the door to the battery compartment open over night so that any trapped moisture can evaporate and exit the device.
Things to Avoid
Once the hearing aid has been cleaned, continue to protect it by avoiding contact with anything that could potentially cause damage. Hairspray and make-up are common sources of concern because they are generally applied in close proximity to the ears. Not only will these substances make the exterior of a hearing aid dirty, they are often atomized into such a fine application that they can readily block the microphone hole or other controls.
It's also important to avoid applying heat to hearing aids and to not use them in overly steamy environments (saunas and bathrooms pose particular risks). Children and pets should also not be allowed to handle hearing aids.
When the tips in this article are followed, it is possible for hearing aids to bring the user many years of enhanced hearing. Talk to an audiologist or doctor, such as those at Advantage Hearing & Audiology, about more information and tips to care for your hearing aids.