Hearing Aid Maintenance

Hearing aids require regular maintenance and cleaning to perform at their best. We recommend that our clients learn the basics for maintaining their hearing aids, and come to our Helix Hearing Care clinics for the occasional clean and check. 

Do’s & Don’ts of Hearing Aid Care

Hearing aids are small electronic devices made up of even smaller parts. It is important to do regular maintenance to help reduce the number of repairs and increase the lifespan of your hearing aids. 
 
Watch the videos and follow the instructions on how to perform maintenance on your hearing aids. Specific instructions may vary depending on the exact model of your hearing aid. Consult your user instructions if in doubt. 
Do's:
  • Store your hearing aids in a safe place that is not only dry, but also cool. 
  • Wash your hands before handling your hearing aids to prevent dirt and oils from contaminating the electrical units. 
  • Check your batteries with a digital battery tester, and if they are not rechargeable, change them well before they run out of life. 
  • Turn off your hearing aids when not in use. You may want to remove the batteries and clean their contact points occasionally to make sure everything connects properly. 
  • Place them in the charging unit each night to maintain optimal performance, if it is rechargeable.
  • Change the filters occasionally to avoid dirt buildup, and clean the hearing aids using the small brush or cloth that came with them. 
  • Remove your hearing aids above a soft surface in case of an accidental drop. 
  • Wear a hat that covers your ears when it is cold out, so you’ll be protecting your hearing aid at the same time. 
Don'ts:
  • Wear your hearing aids in the shower or when swimming. Water will damage the inner workings of typical hearing aids. 
  • Use a hair dryer, hair spray, or any other type of hair product with your hearing aids on. 
  • Store your hearing aids in direct sunlight, in a car, or near a heating unit. 
  • Use any tools on your hearing aids other than the ones provided, as this may result in serious or permanent malfunctions. 
  • Leave your hearing aids or batteries in a place where they could be chewed or swallowed by pets or small children. Beyond the destruction of your devices, consuming hearing aid batteries can be deadly. 
  • Wear your hearing aids during a CAT, MRI, or other electromagnetic scan. 
  • Use alcohol or other aggressive cleaning agents or solvents, as you risk damaging the electronic parts. 

Cleaning Your Hearing Aids

Regardless of the style of hearing aid, you can always use a soft, dry cloth to polish the external speaker units. It is best to do this every day to keep your hearing aid in a good working condition and to let them air out overnight. Do not clean with disinfectant wipes unless the packaging states that they have been approved for use with a hearing aid.

Cleaning a BTE Hearing Aid
If your BTE is an open fit, clean the silicone dome, especially if there is visible debris on it. Let the hearing aids sit overnight so that any soft wax will harden and it will be easier to flake off with a hearing aid cleaning brush the next morning.

This piece should be replaced at least once a month. If you are in need of more dome replacements, please contact the clinic to pick them up.

Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any materials from the microphone cover. You can also use it to wipe debris from the surface before applying a wax pick or wire loop to remove any extraneous materials.
Cleaning an ITE Hearing Aid
Your ITE hearing aids can be brushed in the same way as models worn behind the ear. Make sure to pay extra attention to the removal of particles from the vent openings, as well as the microphone and receiver.

Due to their location inside the ear canal, they are built with a vent that runs through the shell to catch wax and debris. To clean it, insert the vent cleaner into this vent and pull it out once it exits the other side.

In an ITE device, a filter system ensures that no earwax can get inside the hearing aid. This filter system should be changed regularly. If you need extra filters, please call your hearing clinic.

Hearing Aid Cleaning Tools

To help with the cleaning of your hearing aids, there are some tools that you can use to make the process easier. These are specially made tools that were designed to clean the tiny parts and components of hearing aids safely, so as not to cause any damage, and effectively to more thoroughly clean them. They can help make the regular cleaning and maintenance tasks much quicker and easier. If you have any questions about what tools to use, you can always talk with your clinician.

Here are some of the most common tools we recommend. 
Hearing Aid Cleaning Brush
The soft brush tip end cleans the body, faceplate or sound port of a hearing device. Some brushes have a magnetic battery removal tool to ease daily cleaning of aids.
Wax Pick or Wire Loop
This tool is designed to help remove wax and other debris safely and more thoroughly from hearing aid nooks and holes, which can be difficult to reach with non-specialized tools.
Multi-Tool
Hearing aid multi-tools serve as all-in-one tools, which gives them extra versatility. They contain both a brush and a wax loop for thorough cleaning, rather than having separate tools.
Ventilation Cleaner
The ventilation cleaner is used to remove moisture and earwax from the vent that is present in most ITE, ITC & CIC models. It can help maintain better sound performance in your hearing aids by preventing blockages.
Drying Station
The drying station is an essential item for every hearing aid owner that wants to keep their devices lasting as long as possible. A hearing aid drying station keeps your devices moisture-free and also acts as a pocket-sized carrying case.
Soft, Clean, Dry Cloth
You can get special cloths to use with your hearing aids. They are soft and dry to absorb more moisture and clean away wax that has gotten stuck to the surface of your hearing aids without damaging any components. 

Replacing Hearing Aid Batteries

How long a hearing aid battery lasts depends on the device, the length of time it is worn, and the size of the battery. When you are replacing the batteries, please ensure that you insert the batteries with the minus and plus sides pointing the right way. If the battery compartment will not close, or is difficult to close, it is usually because the battery has been inserted the wrong way. Don't try and force the compartment to close if you feel resistance, or you may break the component.
 
If you do not like having to change batteries, you can get newer hearing aid models that come with fully rechargeable batteries that you do not have to change or replace. 

Here are some basic instructions on how to replace the batteries in your BTE or ITE hearing aid:

How to Change Hearing Aid Filters and Wax Guards

The filters and wax guards in your hearing aids are components that you will need to replace every now and then. They are made to prevent war wax, moisture and debris from getting into the internal components of your hearing aids. That means they bear the brunt of the environment damage as well as regular wear and tear for your hearing aids. They are cheap and simple components, and you can pick up replacement filters and wax guards from any hearing clinic. Here are some short videos with instructions on how to change them in your hearing aids.

When To See A Hearing Professional

If you are not sure how to clean your hearing aids or if you feel your devices need special attention, ask one of our hearing care professionals for help. We can give you advice on cleaning techniques, and how frequently you should do it. If you require batteries, wax guards, domes, or cleaning equipment you can contact us to request supplies. We can have them ready for you to pick them up at an arranged time. 

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