With regular maintenance, your hearing aid will be kept in good working order. Hearing aids operate in an environment that is far from ideal; they are subjected to earwax and moisture on a daily basis and while they’re fairly robust devices, careful cleaning will ensure their ongoing optimum functionality.
Read our guide to cleaning hearing aids below and get in touch if you need assistance with your hearing loss, we can offer advice on the best hearing aid for your needs or offer an up to date hearing test with our hearing healthcare professionals.
Guide to cleaning hearing aids
Protect your hearing aid from dirt
Before you start to clean your hearing aids, ensure your hands are clean and dry. This is particularly important when cleaning the microphone, which can easily become blocked with dirt. Any dirt on your hands may end up inside your hearing aid, meaning it may not work optimally.
Get into a routine of cleaning your hearing aids properly
Clean your hearing aid regularly; it’s easiest if you get into the habit of cleaning it at the end of the day to ensure that you help to guarantee its proper functioning. Cleaning hearing aids at the end of the day also gives them the opportunity to dry out before you next use them. Always carry out your hearing aids clean over a soft surface to prevent damage should you drop the hearing aid.
Use the proper hearing aid cleaning tools
Over time, earwax accumulates in the opening where the amplifier is, causing muffled sound or feedback. Should it be left to continue to accumulate, it will damage the receiver too. Wax should be carefully removed using the appropriate hearing aid cleaning kit.
A multitool, which contains a soft brush, wire loop and magnet is ideal. Alternatively, a wax pick and brush can also be used for cleaning your hearing aids. Never use wipes that contain alcohol or cleaning chemicals as they can damage the hearing aid.
Different cleaning methods for your hearing aid
Different hearing aid types require different cleaning methods, see how to clean some of the most common hearing aids below.
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids
To clean a BTE hearing aid device:
- Remove the ear mould from the hook
- Wipe over the ear mould daily and remove any debris
- Once a week soak them in warm, soapy water to remove any discolouration, and allow them to dry overnight
- To remove water from the tubing, use a bulb blower and also allow this part to dry overnight
In the ear (ITE) hearing aids
To clean an ITE hearing aid:
- The cleaning should concentrate on the openings of the device. This includes the microphone, which should be cleaned using a soft brush provided by your audiologist, or a very soft toothbrush
- Ensure that the area you are cleaning is facing downwards so that the debris you are removing will fall out, rather than potentially blocking the tubing
- Anything that the brush didn’t remove should be removed using a wax pick or loop
- Finally, wipe over the entire hearing aid with a clean, dry cloth, or a tissue
Cleaning for all hearing aids
Whatever type of hearing aid you have, some cleaning remains the same:
- Hearing aid batteries should always be removed at night, and the battery compartment cleaned out with the brush
- Overnight, the battery compartment should be left open to dry out, ready for the next day
Investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier may be a wise decision, especially for those who spend a lot of time outdoors, in humid surroundings, or who sweat heavily. Hearing aid dehumidifiers are available in two models:
- A simple plastic jar with a desiccant that draws out the moisture
- A Dry and Store unit, which uses a combination of air and ultraviolet light to both dry and sanitise the hearing aids
Designed to remove moisture from your hearing aids, dehumidifiers are perfect for ensuring the longevity of your hearing aids, as excess moisture can cause them to not work properly and not last as long as they should.
Your hearing aids should be professionally cleaned on a regular basis. A hearing care professional has access to tools such as specialist vacuums, which remove wax from the harder to reach areas. They can also safely clean other parts of the device, as required.
Cleaning your hearing aids should become part of your daily routine, if they are to continue to operate at their optimum level. If you’re unsure about any aspect of cleaning your hearing aids, you should consult your hearing care professional.
Hearing care professionals in Sussex
If you’d like some advice about your hearing loss, or are due a hearing test to assess your hearing aids and level of hearing loss, then get in touch with our team today. We have three independent hearing care centres across Sussex and can offer impartial and expert advice regarding all types of hearing aid.