How to Clean Your Hearing Aids Proficiently
Posted 3/7/18​

Approximately 37.5 million American adults suffer from some form
of hearing loss.  For many people who belong to this group, hearing
aids can make your life a lot easier. But, in order to reap all their
benefits, you're going to need to practice proper hearing aid care. 
Read on to learn the most important hearing aid care tips that will
keep your devices working properly for as long as possible!

Basic Hearing Aid Care

These basic tips are essential for maintaining your hearing aids'
  • Take them out while bathing or swimming
  • Remove them before using hairspray, perfume, shaving lotion, or
    visiting the hairdresser
  • Store them in a dehumidifier or plastic case at night to keep them as dry as possible
  • Check the battery or listening performance regularly
  • Remember to open the battery door after you take them out for the day

In addition to keeping them safe and dry, you'll also need to take care to clean your hearing aids properly.

Cleaning Your Hearing Aids

To clean your hearing aids, start by wiping them down with a soft brush, a clean cloth, or a tissue.  You can also use a disinfectant wipe as long as your hearing specialist approves.  Then, use a brush to remove loose wax or debris from the microphone ports.  Finally, use a wax pick to clean the holes at the tip of the earmold or dome.  If there is a vent in your hearing aids, make sure you remove that as well and clean it to allow for proper air flow.  Your hearing specialist should provide the cleaning tools mentioned above.

BTE Hearing Aids

For behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, you'll also need to clean the earmold (the plastic part of the hearing aid).  Be sure to remove the earmold from the hook to clean it properly.  Earmolds can get stained or discolored over time. To help with this, soak them in warm, soapy water once a week. This is the only part of the hearing aid you should let get wet.  Don't use any alcohol or chemicals to clean them.  After they've soaked for a few hours, use a bulb blower to force all the water out of the tubing.  Then, let the earmolds sit out on a cloth or towel to dry overnight.   It's normal for earmolds to develop a slight odor over time.  But, if the odor is particularly strong, this may be a sign that you have an ear infection.

Bonus Cleaning Tips

If you're not careful, you could accidentally do more harm than good if you don't clean them carefully.  Follow these bonus tips to make sure you don't accidentally damage them:
  • Clean them over a soft surface (like a hand towel) so they don't get broken if dropped
  • Don't use any liquid when cleaning them
  • Establish a cleaning routine so they get taken care of consistently
  • Clean your cleaning cloth regularly to avoid depositing wax or debris back into the hearing aids
  • Wash and dry your hands carefully before cleaning
  • Clean them from top to bottom so you don't accidentally get wax in the microphones

You should also make regular appointments with your hearing specialist to have your hearing aids professionally cleaned.  No matter how diligent you are on your own, a professional will almost always be able to do a more thorough job.  If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, your hearing specialist will be able to identify them earlier and get them taken care of faster.

Getting the Most Out of Your Hearing Aids

Proper care and cleaning will make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your hearing aids. Listed below are some other things you can do to maximize their auditory benefits :

Get Them Early-
You'll have an easier time adjusting to hearing aids if you get them as soon as you notice your hearing is starting to go.  If you wait too long, you won't get the most out of them. You may even find them to be overwhelming or ineffective.

Wear Them Every Day-
When you first get your hearing aids, you may decide to only wear them when around other people. However, it's important to wear your hearing aids as much as possible so that you can get used to them and get the most benefit long-term.  Figure out a daily schedule and get in the habit of putting them in and taking them out at the same time every day. With a little practice, you'll be able to wear them comfortably without any issues.

Take Advantage of the Telecoil-
Sometimes, when they start experiencing hearing loss, people tend to isolate themselves because they don't enjoy certain things like going to movies or plays as much as they used to.  However, if you invest in hearing aids that contain a telecoil, you don't have to give up your favorite outings.  A telecoil is a copper wire that is designed to communicate with telephones and other loop systems via an electronic wireless signal.  This wire makes it easier for you to hear what's going on in public places like churches, movie theaters, and even grocery stores.  There are lots of online resources that can help you find places that offer telecoil services.

Know How to Troubleshoot-
Another important aspect of hearing aid care is knowing how to handle basic troubleshooting.  Some problems with your hearing aids can be resolved easily at home. For example, if you aren't hearing anything you may just need to clean the sound outlet or change the battery.  Another common issue is sound distortion.  If you're experiencing this, your hearing aid may be in telecoil mode instead of microphone mode. A dirty or corroded battery can also cause distortion. 

Of course, you also need to know when to seek out professional help.

If you've tried the tips discussed above and your hearing aids still aren't working properly, don't keep messing with them. Call your hearing specialist and have them checked out or replaced if necessary.

Want to Learn More?

Whether you want to learn more about proper hearing aid care or need some brand new hearing aids, we can help at the Hearing Center of Ohio!  Check out our blog for more tips and tricks, or schedule an appointment today. Whatever you need, we can't wait to assist you!