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Hearing Loss and Hearing aids: The importance of cleaning your hearing aids!

Hearing aid Cleaning Tools

Cleaning your hearing aids.

I know what you are thinking.  “Is that really that important?”  “This is a high-tech, enclosed piece of equipment.  How much cleaning is really needed?”

I just had this conversation.  My husband has had his hearing aids for just less than a year.  The other day, I noticed the volume on the TV was higher than usual and I was having to speak more loudly.  I asked him if he had noticed a problem with his hearing aids.  He said yes; that they sounded flat. I asked when he had last cleaned them.  He got a faraway look on his face.  So I said, perhaps that is something you should do.  Lo and behold, he can now hear!

I cannot tell you how many telephone calls come into our Audiology Hears to U clinic and people tell me their hearing aid is not working.

They are often frustrated; understandably so.  I remember one person came in so angry that his newly-purchased aids were not working.  He was quite upset; said that if they were not going to work, what was the point of them and he was going to return them?   Kim came back and he put them in.  They were working perfectly.  He was stunned and asked what magic she had done.  “I changed the wax guards.”  I wish I had words to describe the look on his face; our friends across the pond would say “gobsmacked”.

These are expensive pieces of electronics that are small enough to fit in your ear; or just behind your ear.  However, a modicum of care is required to keep them working at their best.  How often they should be cleaned will depend on how often and for how long you wear them.  Some people naturally form more earwax, so will need to clean more often than others.  Really, hearing aids are pieces of durable medical equipment.  Like any other piece of equipment, regular maintenance is required.

First and foremost:  keep them dry.

Water and electronics do not mix well.  On the website and in the clinic are a number of dehumidifiers.  We can help you decide which is best for you.  The tips, and domes need to be cleaned and the wax guards replaced periodically.  Wax is another enemy of a properly working hearing aid.

There are a number of ways to keep your hearing aids clean so that they work well for you.

Keeping them clean and dry will also increase the life of the aid.  You can purchase audiology brand cleaning wipes and hearing aid brushes.  Hearing aid wax guards can be purchased through the website.  Some hearing aid dehumidifiers look a bit like a tube; put the hearing aids in, close the lid and the desiccant sleeve inside the tube will dry the hearing aids.  Others look more like a hearing aid charger.  Place the aids in, push the button and the machine does the work for you.  Some of the machines will clean, dry, and even sanitize with UV light the hearing aids, all in one cycle.

 

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