Your hearing aids are a significant investment and require good cleaning as they get in contact with dirt and germs regularly. Unlike other electronic devices, your hearing aids work in conditions that are far from ideal – placed inside your ear canals and exposed to moisture and earwax. The combination of ensuring your hearing aids are clean and following the routine maintenance tips instructed by your hearing instrument specialist (HIS) would ensure that you avoid further ear health issues and allow for better performance for a longer time. Now, let’s take a look at how you can clean your hearing aids at home.
Ensure You Have the Right Tools
To effectively clean your hearing aids at home, you would need to have the right tools. Here are some essential items you will need:
- Clean, dry cloth to wipe your hearing device every day.
- Soft-bristle toothbrush or hearing aid brush to take out dirt on hearing aid.
- A wax pick to remove accumulated earwax.
- Bulb blower to remove moisture or water from hearing aid tube.
Usually, HIS advises cleaning your hearing aids before bedtime since it gives your device enough time to dry before you put them together again. Avoid using alcohol or chemical wipes since they can damage your hearing device. It is also essential to avoid exposing your hearing aids to extreme temperatures, for instance, leaving them out in the open during the summer or keeping them in your pocket during the cold winter months.
Take the Necessary Precautions
Before cleaning your hearing aids, it is essential to wash your hands to avoid transferring germs to your hearing aids. It is recommended to have a clean, dry place to place your hearing aids when cleaning them. This also helps keep all your hearing aid parts in one place during the cleaning process.
How to Clean a Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Device?
If you have behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, it is advisable to give them a thorough cleaning every day to keep them functioning well. It would be helpful to take off your BTE hearing aids every evening to check for debris you may have picked up during the day. You can use a soft brush to sweep away the dirt on your hearing aids when you can see buildup. Gently remove the earmold from the hook for cleaning.
You should also remove the batteries and use a soft brush-bristle toothbrush or hearing aid brush to wipe the devices inside the battery compartment. In addition to this, it can be helpful to soak the earmold in warm, soapy water once every week. This will keep your earmold extra clean and prevent any discoloring. Make sure your earmold is dry before reassembling your hearing aids. The bulb blower helps remove excess water from the hearing aid tubes.
How to Clean In-the-Ear (ITE) Device?
Like the BTE device, your in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids require regular cleaning to keep working at their best. When clearing the ITE device, focus on cleaning the device openings, including the microphone ports, with a soft-bristle toothbrush or one provided by your hearing instrument specialist. Hold your device with the opening facing downward to shake off any particles or debris rather than keeping it clogged inside the hearing aid. You can now use a wax hook or pick to remove anything that couldn’t come out of the holes. Finish by cleaning the entire device using a dry, clean tissue or cloth to remove any dirt from the hearing aid case.
Regardless of the type of hearing aid, it is advisable to remove the batteries and allow the compartment to dry out completely. This is to prevent damaging your batteries and, in effect, your hearing aid. Before placing the batteries in, be sure to clean the compartment with a cleaning brush. Be sure to do this at night to give your device ample time to dry and also because you wouldn’t need it then.
If you live in a humid environment or spend a lot of time outdoors, you may want to consider using a hearing aid dehumidifier. These dehumidifiers come in various types. You can choose a simple plastic jar with desiccant to draw moisture overnight or the dry & store dehumidifier that utilizes ultraviolet light and air to dry and sanitize your hearing instruments.
When Do You Have to See a Professional?
It is essential to have your hearing aid professionally cleaned per the recommendation of our hearing instrument specialist. HIS have equipment that can give your hearing aids the extra clean it needs. For more information, contact Byron’s Hudson Valley Hearing Aid Centers at; 845-481-9267, 845-232-2147 845-481-9266.