Maintaining what counts–Daily Equipment Care
Each part of the amplification system needs to be cared for and properly maintained. Care and maintenance should be discussed during the fitting appointment. Maintaining and caring for your hearing instrument extends its life expectancy and provides for long-term trouble-free functioning.
How to care for your hearing instrument:
Maintaining and Caring for your Hearing Instrument Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I recently purchased a set of in-the-ear hearing aids. I want to be sure that I am caring for them properly. What should I do to clean them?
A: When you remove the hearing aids at night, the first thing you should do is carefully wipe them down with a dry soft cloth or tissue. Next, inspect the portion of the device that fits down into the ear canal. If you observe earwax accumulating at the end of the aid, you will need to remove this. Most manufacturers will provide you with a cleaning tool, which may be in the form of a brush, wire pick or combination of both. Carefully, remove the wax. Using the brush provided for you, carefully brush around and in the plastic tubing to clear out the wax. Some patients find that using an old toothbrush is an effective method for wax removal. Many times using the wire pick may force the wax deeper into the channel. Finally, open the battery door and place the hearing instruments in their case. Many have an independent on/off switch. It is still advisable to open the battery door to allow air to enter the device and assist in reducing the effects of moisture that may accumulate when the aids are in the ear canal. It also helps prolong battery life.
Q: I have a behind-the-ear style hearing aid. Is the cleaning procedure any different for this type of aid?
A: The basic cleaning procedure is the same. The only real difference is that there is earmold, which is made of Lucite or silicone. Since, this the non-electronic portion of the hearing aid, you may wash the earmold with a mild soap and water. Many patients will actually disconnect the earmold from the device and place in a soapy bath for a few minutes. Make sure the earmold is dry and pay special attention to the earmold tubing to be sure no water is trapped. If it is, simply blow on the end of the tubing to clear the water before reattaching the earmold to the device. Remember to have the tubing replaced every 3-6 months, as it begins to lose its flexibility.
Q: Is it advisable to use alcohol swabs or cleaning solvents on the hearing device?
A: No, do not use solvents or alcohol on the hearing device as there is a possibly that they can breakdown the hearing aid material. There are special sprays you can purchase that are designed specifically for cleaning and disinfecting. Talk to your hearing healthcare professional about these products.
Q: What precautions can I take to ensure that my hearing instruments will operate properly?
A: I usually describe this in my “List of Don’ts”:
Q: How does earwax affect the performance of the hearing instrument?
A: First, the wax can clog the microphone or receiver and thereby block sound to the ear. This is easily remedied by following the procedures described above. A large accumulation of earwax can also cause the device to have feedback or whistling. This is because earwax can be a very dense material. The amplified signal from the instrument bounces off the wax and back to the device where it is re-amplified and causes the whistling. It’s a little like throwing a rubber ball against a cement wall. Your hearing care professional should examine your hearing device and check the ear canals for wax at least every 6 months.
Q: My hearing aid needs to be repaired but I did not purchase it from you. Can you help me?
A: We offer repair for all brands regardless of whether you purchased it from our company. Call our office and schedule your hearing aid repair services.
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