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How Can My Hearing Aids Last Longer?

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Your ability to hear completely depends on the functionality of your hearing aids.  They require special care in order to work properly and to be able to allow you to hear without interruption. Proper cleaning of each part of the hearing aid will prevent you from seeking hearing aid repair.  Here are some great tips to allow you to properly care for your hearing aids and to help them last for a long time. 

The Parts of a Hearing Aid      

There are three main components to a hearing aid:

  • The shell:  The shell is the surface of the hearing aid.  This is the area where there will be wax build-up.  While sitting behind the ear, the shell can collect dead skin cells, dirt, or oil build up inside the grooves.  Wax buildup will keep the hearing aid from fitting properly or make them uncomfortable.  It can also prevent certain parts of the hearing aid from working.    
  • The microphone:  A very delicate part of the hearing aid that requires special care when handling or cleaning.   
  • The receiver:  The receiver is the hole in the shell that has rubber tubing around it.  This tubing directs the sound into your ear, allowing you to hear.  Wax can buildup on the receiver as well.  This can cause the hearing aid to not work properly.  If the shell is kept clean, this will prevent further problems hearing.    

Cleaning the Shell      

Simply use a dry tissue to wipe down the shell of the hearing aid.  For wax that may be harder to remove, you can slightly dampen the tissue.  A brush is included with your hearing aid and may be used to remove the buildup that can't be removed with a tissue.  This will allow you to easily brush away the residue. 

Cleaning the Microphone     

Use the brush to gently brush across the hole in order to remove dirt.  Never put anything into the microphone hole.  It is best to hold it upside down to discourage debris from falling into the hole. 

Cleaning the Receiver   

You are provided with a wax pick with your hearing aid.  Gently insert it into the opening of the receiver in order to scoop the wax out of the opening.  Use this procedure to scoop out all of the remaining wax.  Be very gently when cleaning the receiver, as it is easily damaged. 

Caring for Your Hearing Aid Daily     

Besides cleaning the hearing aids regularly using the steps listed above, your audiologist, like at Cape May County Hearing Aid Dispensary, will help you to understand how to avoid hearing aid repair by caring daily for your hearing aid.  He should give you the following tools to help with your daily care:

  • A battery tester
  • A drying container
  • A forced air blower
  • A listening tube

Check the Batteries        

Normally, hearing aid batteries last between a week and two weeks.  A battery tester will check to see if they are operating at full strength.  It is important to keep batteries available in order to keep your hearing aid working properly. 

Always Check for Moisture      

By using a drying container, you can minimize the moisture that seeps into the hearing aid.  This will extend the life of it.  First remove the batteries, and then place the hearing aid into the container.  Moisture can keep it from operating properly.

The ear molds collect dirt and wax and can be cleaned with a mild soap.  The forced air blower will allow the ear molds to dry after cleaning and before attaching them back onto the hearing aid.  They must be completely dry before doing so.   

Listening Checks    

You must use a listening tube every day to make sure that your hearing aids are giving off the proper sound.  Sound should be clear and not be scratchy.  You must also listen for feedback, which is a high pitched whistling sound occasionally emitted by the hearing aid from sound that reenters the microphone.  If you do experience feedback, your hearing aid may not be positioned properly in your ear canal or may not be fitting properly due to wax.       

Regular maintenance will allow your hearing aids to last longer and will ward off any hearing aid repair.  Visit your audiologist regularly to have them professionally check your hearing and the performance of your hearing aids.