You’ve bought a hearing aid, you wear it faithfully every day. But do you remember to take care of it? Do you know what to do if it suddenly stops working? Here are 4 things you can do to keep your hearing aid in good working order and prevent the need for unnecessary office visits and costly repairs.
When you take your hearing aid out at the end of the day, wipe it off with a tissue or an eyeglass type cleaning cloth. You want to remove all moisture or ear wax from the surface of your hearing aid. If your hearing aids came with cleaning tools such as a brush, you can use that to clean the microphone opening. You might also have been provided with a small wire loop. You would use this to scoop wax off the end of the hearing aid where it goes in your ear. If the receiver port (where the sound comes out) gests clogged with wax, or the microphone is covered with dust or skin cells, you will not be able to hear very well.
A dehumidifier or dri-aid system will absorb moisture that gets into your hearing aid during normal wearing. The ear canal is a body cavity, and a nice warm, moist one at that. Plus, we might sweat when we have the hearing aid in. We all know what happens to our cell phones when they get wet. Your hearing aid is essentially a miniature computer worn in your ear. It also does not like to get wet. Regular use of some sort of dehumidifier system made for hearing aids will help keep the electronics in good working order. This is especially important in humid climates.
It is rare these days for a hearing aid not to have some sort of built in wax guard system to prevent ear wax from getting into the electronics. These systems are designed so that you, the hearing aid user, can change them at home. You should have been given a set of replacement wax guards when you were fit with your hearing aids. How often these need to be changed varies from person to person. It really depends on how much ear wax you produce. Even the smallest amount of ear wax inside the receiver port will cut off sound and make it seem like the hearing aid is dead. The general recommendation is at least once every other month or if you notice a decrease in volume in the hearing aid.
Hearing aid batteries are not like other batteries we use around the house. Hearing aid batteries use Zinc as the primary active ingredient. The batteries are not fully charged or activated until you pull off the sticker attached to them and expose them to air. To ensure full activation of the battery it is recommended that you let the battery sit on the table for 1-2 minutes before inserting it into your hearing aid after you have removed the sticker. That allows all of the Zinc to become active and you will get the longest life from your battery. Never pull the sticker off unless you are intending to use the battery. Once the sticker is off, the battery will start to lose power whether you are using it or not. Another hint, if you change your battery, and the hearing aid still isn’t working, check your wax guard. Don’t go through a whole package of batteries. It is very rare that a whole package would be bad. Chances are, if you have tried 2 batteries and the aid still doesn’t work, it is not the battery that is the problem.
Your Audiologist will be happy to show you the best ways to take care of your hearing aid. If you have questions, feel free to call our office and schedule an appointment.
Please call our office at 361-287-0100 to schedule an appointment.