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3 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Hearing Aids

June 09, 2016

Man holding a behind-the-ear hearing aid

Murphy’s Law informs us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better version might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”

In terms of vehicle maintenance, that’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, switch out the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re attempting to protect our investment and stretch out its life.

You should consider hearing aids in the same manner. If you give things an opportunity to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your care and maintenance, your hearing aids can endure and operate properly for many years.

So what are some of the things that can go wrong? Below are the three primary threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to safeguard against them.

1. Physical damage

Opponent # 1 is physical destruction. Hearing aids consist of fragile electronics that are prone to damage from shock. To protect against this, ensure that you store your hearing aids in their storage cases anytime you’re not using them.

An effective rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at any given time. Setting your hearing aids unprotected on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and bump them off. Likewise, when you’re inserting and removing your hearing aids, it’s best to do this over a soft surface in case they fall.

In addition, take the time to check and replace the batteries often. You’re not doing the circuitry any favors by forcing the hearing aids function on low battery power.

2. Moisture

Electronics and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a cell phone in the sink knows all too well. Once submerged, there’s not much that can be done. But it requires a lot less than complete submersion in water to ruin your hearing aids.

Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and start causing havoc. For this reason, you should refrain from using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. In addition, keep in mind that extreme changes in temperature can create condensation, for instance moving from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, ensure that you dry off any moisture that develops.

We also recommend not keeping your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can create problems. This is an additional reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the ideal spot to keep your hearing aids when not in use.

3. Earwax and dirt

Even if you’ve guarded your hearing aids against physical damage and water with proper storage and the avoidance of moisture, you’ll still need to protect against enemy # 3: dirt and grime.

Earwax, dust, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, blocking the speakers, ports, and other parts. To guard against this, 1) sustain adequate ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids daily.

Regarding cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the equipment provided by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can provide cleaning kits and guidance exclusively for your type of hearing aids.

And finally, consider buying a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers use ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill dangerous pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.

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