For those with hearing loss, regularly cleaning your hearing aid will keep it in top working condition and avoid unnecessary repairs. This is because these devices must be kept free of debris and wax in order to ensure optimal hearing results. Most hearing aids come equipped with a simple kit that should enable the user to not only to maintain it, but keep the components in good working condition as well.
On any type of hearing instrument, there are 3 key areas that need to be cleaned i.e. the microphone, shell, and receiver. Below, therefore, we take a look at how to clean these 3 vital parts of your hearing aid as follows:
The shell refers to any surface on the actual hearing aid. For a majority of in-the-ear aids, a buildup of wax is likely to result on the area of the shell while for the behind-the ear variety, oils and dirt are likely to build up in any fissure or groove. It thus follows that any dirt, wax, or other debris on a hearing aid’s shell can cause the device not to fit properly, result in discomfort either inside or outside the ear, and impair the movement of working parts such as volume.
To clean the shell, it is advisable to follow the following instructions i.e.:
· Desist from using a wet cloth that may be dripping or any chemical cleaners on the shell of the hearing aid.
· Use soft tissues to wipe the hearing device of any dirt, oil, or wax. The tissues can be slightly dampened if you are dealing with a more stubborn wax buildup.
· To deal with more difficult wax removal, you may use the brush that was included in your hearing aid packaging to eradicate the wax.
2. The Microphone
This is, undoubtedly, one of the most delicate components of hearing aids and special care must be taken when cleaning this area as follows:
Never push anything into or poke the microphone port. When cleaning this area, ensure that the hearing aid is turned upside down so that the microphone port is facing the floor as you clean. This will allow any dirt or debris that may be in the microphone to fall off. You may also use the brush that accompanied your hearing aid at purchase to remove any stubborn debris, wax, or dirt.
3. The Receiver
The most common cause of hearing aid failure is, arguably, a buildup of wax. And this mostly affects the receiver- a hole in the hearing aid’s shell that has a rubber tube around it. This is the tube responsible for directing sound waves from the speaker of the hearing aid to your ear. Experts recommend daily cleaning of the receiver with soft tissues and a brush (where necessary) to prevent wax build up in this area. Further cleaning may be required if wax finds its way to the receiver.
When purchasing your hearing aid, it is important to go over the cleaning recommendations with your audiologist. Alternatively, you can call them for an appointment or any additional training or questions you may have regarding the proper care of hearing aids.
Ernest Poh founded The Hearing Centre Pte Ltd. The Hearing Centre is your one-stop centre for complete hearing aids and hearing conservation services. Ernest has been fitting hearing devices since 2004. Visit his website at http://thehearingcentre.sg to learn more about the different types of hearing aids and the possible causes of hearing loss.