Taking the Best Care of Your Hearing Aids by Chamini Sedara

Have you ever considered the demand placed on your hearing aids? Hearing aids are tiny, precision pieces of electronics expected to perform under tremendously difficult conditions. You may not have realised that the ear canal is an extremely hostile environment for electronics. Not only is the external ear extremely humid, the canal is also acidic to deter bacteria from entering the ear. Moist, acidic conditions are not ideal for a piece of electronics, as you can imagine. Nevertheless, this is where we need the hearing aid to perform at its best.

Ear hygiene

Always be sure to maintain ear hygiene. For a professional check-up or ear advice please contact your local GP or specialist, or visit a specialist ear wax removal clinic. Never self-clean your ears – even with a cotton bud.

 Avoid contact with hair spray or make-up

Hair spray and make-up powder may block microphone openings, the volume control or program control. Remove your hearing aids before applying makeup or using body care products.

Oil is the enemy of every hearing aid. If it comes in contact with the electronics or micromechanics, irreparable damage may result.

 Protect your hearing aid from dust and dirt

Always make sure that your fingers are clean and dry before touching your hearing aid. The microphone openings are very small and may be blocked if hearing aids are handled improperly. A water resistant sleeve (Ear Gear) that protects from dirt and moisture without impacting sound quality of your aid can provide extra protection.

 Protect your hearing aids and batteries from intense heat

Be sure not to expose your hearing aids and hearing aids batteries to intense heat. Protect the devices from direct sunlight (at home or in the parked car) and do not keep them in close proximity of heaters. Never put your hearing aids in the microwave or oven to dry if they are damaged with water. Store your batteries somewhere cold and dry, but not in the fridge.

Protect your hearing aid from moisture

Remove the hearing aids from your ear before showering, bathing or swimming and when you are getting a haircut. Due to the generally high level of moisture in the bathroom, hearing devices should not be left there. Moisture and water condensation may damage the electronics of your hearing aids.

Clean gently

Clean your devices with a special moist cleansing wipe designed especially for cleaning hearing aids. Alcohol, solvents and cleaning agents may damage the devices. In order for your hearing aids to function properly, the devices themselves and the earmolds for behind-the-ear systems must always be free of earwax or other deposits. Special care products are available from your hearing-care professional.

Store your hearing aids in a safe place

We recommend removing the battery from the hearing aid at night and leaving the battery compartment open, so that the moisture in the device can be easily absorbed by the silica beads. Use a special drying system, available from your hearing-care professional. Remember not to keep old hearing aids batteries in your drying system or carrying box.

If you are not using your hearing aids for a longer period of time, remove the batteries and leave the battery compartment open. In high levels of moisture, store the hearing aids in a dry case. Always carry the devices in your storage case.

(P.S: it is important that you use your hearing aids all the time, or as much as possible!)

 Keep away from children and petsSounds like poop

Store your devices out of the reach of children and pets. Devices that are laying around and have not been turned off send out high-pitched sounds which may irritate the sensitive hearing of dogs – some devices have been known to be destroyed. 

Repairs may only be executed by a professional technician

If there is a problem with your hearing device do not hesitate to visit your hearing-care professional.

Chamini is an Audiometrist at Blamey Saunders hears. She was inspired to enter the field of hearing after the child of a family member was born with hearing loss. She believes hearing plays a vital role in maintaining relationships and in making important decisions. She is also dual qualified, having trained in Audiology in Sri Lanka, as well as the Diploma of Hearing Device Prescription and evaluation in Australia. To Chamini, the most rewarding aspect of her job is seeing the new lease on life people get from hearing aids. When asked what we should all know about hearing, she said: “An early diagnosis is very important, as prompt treatment will improve the chances that a hearing aid will be successfully implemented and used. A routine hearing test provides serious benefits for everyone.”

More importantly, make sure you read the quick guide that comes with your hearing aid package. Step by step guides will help you make the most of your investment in hearing technology. My advice to hearing aids users is to make sure you read the booklet a few times during the first three months after purchasing your hearing aids. That way you will not miss anything, and it will help you to remember most of the information.  At Blamey Saunders we provide free in-house servicing to all of our clients. We recommend servicing your hearing aids every six months, and also spending a few minutes every day cleaning them at home.

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