Different hearing aids exist for different needs and they typically sit behind the ear or inside the inner ear. Although dirt and debris may build up in different places depending on the hearing aid, it’s no secret these devices need regular cleaning and care.
What not to do:
Our hearing specialists urge patients to take certain precautions when cleaning their hearing aids. For example, it's best not to use lots of cleaning solution when sanitizing your hearing aids. Whether it’s a rag, tissue, or cleaning wipe, make sure it isn’t dripping with water or solution to reduce the risk of damaging your device. In addition, never use too much force when cleaning your hearing aid. Patients should not force sharp tools into the device or scrape excessively to clean it. Finally, patients should take out their hearing aids when getting ready in the morning. Water, hairspray, or hair gel can build up and damage hearing aids over time.
What you’ll need:
• Any type of gentle cloth
• A cleaning brush
• A wax pick
How to clean hearing aids:
When patients attempt to clean their hearing aids, they should first examine the device to see where any dirt might be built up. With your cleaning brush, start to brush away any wax residue, devoting extra time to sticky wax build-up. If you need an extra boost, a dry cloth can help lift stubborn wax. Then, use the wax pick to gently clear the hearing aids of any debris the brush may have missed. It may seem tedious to do a thorough cleaning often, but wax residue that has built up over time is one of the most common reasons for hearing aids to stop working.
If a behind-the-ear hearing aid is used, wipe the plastic portion of the device with a damp cloth and make sure it’s completely dry. Some patients may need to soak this portion of their device overnight if the physician says it's okay or necessary. Patients should also clean the ear mold tube after it is detached from their hearing aid.
Finally, patients need to care for their hearing aid battery to preserve its life. A physician may advise patients to store their device in a certain way to prevent damage to the battery. Some patients may need to use moisture-absorbing aids in conjunction with their overnight storage to save their battery.
Cleaning and caring for hearing aids should become a part of the patient’s regular routine. A physician may be able to perform a professional cleaning, but like visiting a dentist, it’s always best to practice proper care at home too. If patients have any questions about their hearing aids and how to properly care for them, just give us a call!
Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.