How to Extend the Life of a Hearing Aid - Hearing Aid Upkeep
The average hearing aid can last up to five years. Most people, however, would love to get more time out of their devices. It’s not just a matter of expense. They feel like a part of you. You wear them from dawn until dusk most days, and you rely on them to help you hear what’s going on in the world. When you find hearing aids you truly love — ones you have adjusted to deliver just the right auditory levels and that actually feel comfortable in your ears — you want them to last for as long as possible.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to help extend the life of your hearing aids. By taking proper care of them and ensuring you keep up with basic maintenance, you may be able to get even more time out of a hearing aid you love.
Here are our best tips for hearing aid upkeep to keep your devices in tip-top shape.
1. Clean Them Regularly
As you know, hearing aids can get gross. Debris can build up all over them and earwax sticks to the parts that go inside the ear. You should be cleaning your hearing aids regularly, simply from a hygiene standpoint — you don’t want all that gunk near your ear.
But you should also be cleaning them to ensure you’re getting the best possible sound quality as well as protecting them for the long term. If your hearing aids aren’t cleaned daily, the wax buildup can clog the opening at the end of the hearing aid and you may start hearing feedback or muffled noise.
If you’re uncertain what to do, here’s how to clean hearing aids:
- Use a soft cloth or brush to dust all over, removing small particles of dust or other buildup.
- Make sure to brush out any small openings in your devices.
- Employ a pick to get hard-to-reach wax — sometimes these come with your hearing aid.
- If your hearing aid has multiple parts, take it apart and clean each one individually.
- Take out the batteries and clean around their casing.
While it may be tempting to use water or soap on your hearing aids, avoid that urge. Unless your doctor has specifically told you to do so, cleaning with water can damage your hearing aids.
2. Check for Corrosion When You Replace the Batteries
You must replace your hearing aid batteries regularly. Every time you remove the old batteries, use it as a chance to inspect your hearing aids and batteries for corrosion.
Corrosion occurs when metal has a chemical reaction to materials around it. In your hearing aid batteries, it will likely present as rust. Batteries may become corroded while sitting in the device, and if you don’t clean out the resulting rust, the next battery will corrode as well. The contact points where the batteries actually power the hearing aid can get rusty, and that will infect your next battery, too. Clean the area carefully to avoid future corrosion.
Remember — corrosion can be encouraged by your environment. If you have a job where you’re around water, oil, gas or pollution on a regular basis, your hearing aids are more likely to become moist or dirty, which can prompt the corrosion.
3. Avoid Exposing Your Hearing Aids to Moisture
Moisture is the mortal enemy of any electronic device. It can cause shorts and moisture, and also spark the development of mold. Keeping your hearing aids dry and far away from any potential source of moisture will help prolong the life of your devices. If your hearing aid does become wet, then you need to dry it off as quickly as possible. Remember to only use soft, dry cloths when cleaning your hearing aid, so as not to introduce moisture to it.
You may not think about the many different ways your hearing aids could get wet. Here are a few tips for keeping them dry and safe:
- Getting a dehumidifier for your house can help to decrease humidity levels and reduce the number of breeding grounds for moisture.
- If you wear your hearing aids when you exercise, you will also need to watch out for perspiration dripping into your ears. Consider taking them out beforehand if it won’t present a safety hazard.
- When you go outside in the rain and don’t wear a raincoat or carry an umbrella, your hearing aids could also get wet. Use rain gear to protect them.
4. Take Your Hearing Aids to Your Audiologist for Repairs and Adjustments
Many times, people try to do it themselves when it comes to hearing aid repairs or adjustments. They figure it’s faster and cheaper to avoid a trip to the audiologist. In fact, they may actually be costing themselves money.
When a repair is made incorrectly, it can cause further problems with your hearing aid. It will be more expensive to straighten out the initial problem and undo whatever damage you caused with your own repair.
Bring in the audiologist the first time to ensure the job has been done right. Contact us at Beltone if we can offer assistance in any way. In the meantime, follow these tips and your hearing aids will have a long life.